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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Property Rights? What Property Rights?

So a couple buys a swatch of land in the 80s, maintains it, pays taxes and homeowner's dues on it, then decides to build their dream home on it. Sounds pretty typical, right? Well, this story is far from typical. A local judge and his wife have designs on the land. They even have parties and create their own trails on it. They like it so much, they decide to pull a few strings and have the land given to them. Absurd? Yes. Not possible? Think again.

Using an old common law doctrine called adverse possession, former Boulder, Colorado District Judge Richard McLean and his wife, attorney Edith Stevens claimed the land that rightfully belonged to Don and Susie Kirlin. McLean and wife have been admittedly trespassing on a parcel of land for which the Kirlins had been paying taxes, and McLean has the nerve to claim squatters rights? Finders, keepers? This makes the Kelo case look logical in comparison.

Perhaps the Kirlins should have fenced their property, but did the HOA allow them to do so? The article doesn't say, but if it's like my HOA, the answer is no. This is a story that deserves national attention, and that attention needs to be directed at the McLeans, and the judge that ruled in their favor. With all of the feigned outrage these days, I would think people from all walks of life, from all political ideologies could get justifiably exorcised about this.

UPDATE: See video of a picnic protest at the Kirlin's property here. Note the rendition of "This Land is Your Land". Heh.

.: posted by Dave 12:47 PM

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