A man in a Delaware seaside community in the United States lost property worth more than $100,000 after his neighbor claimed squatter’s rights during a court dispute over a plot.
According to the New York Post (article Beyond the Paywall), Burton Banks, an Atlanta-based financial planner, needed to move his neighbor, Melissa Schrock, to undeveloped land she inherited from her late father because of the state’s little-known Title of Adverse Possession Law.
Banks, along with her husband David Barrett, planned to sell their $125,000 property in Ocean View in 2021 after she learned that about two-thirds of the acreage was used by a neighbor who had plowed the land for her goats. Made a pen. decade.
Schrock refused to leave the ground and weeks later, Banks filed a complaint for forcing her to scuttle. However, she filed a counterclaim under squatter’s rights. The report notes that in Delaware, liens of trespassers, also known as adverse possession, allow people to claim ownership of property that doesn’t actually belong to them.
“It’s always been my backyard since I was a little kid”, Schrock told the News Journal.
In February, Delaware Superior Court Judge Craig Karnitz awarded title to the property to Schrock after finding that Banks lived mostly in Atlanta and “only occasionally” in Ocean View. The report noted that even Banks’ rare visits made it difficult to convince the court that Schrock had not freely used the land.
Banks reveals that according to court documents, her father left the lot next door to Shrock’s mother, who later died and bequeathed the property to her daughter. “I can’t appeal, but hopefully I can at least warn others”, he told the News Journal.