I am writing to you this letter concerning what you have encountered.
As your lawyer I would advise you to have hope, that all shall be well. Whatever belongs to you will not be taken away from you. I would encourage you to trust in God because the battle belongs to him. a scripture in the book of Joshua 10: 25 says;
“Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the lord will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.”
In the incidents you have encountered, I have discovered that there are five cases at hand. I have identified four cases: the first two are in the mountain, the third is in the Carolina beach, and the fourth is about your car.
The first case is concerning the property you jointly bought with your three deceased friends.
Concerning joint tenancy the right of survivorship clause leaves you as the sole owner of the mountain property. It is also true that joint tenants have equal rights in the asset, and when one dies, ownership is automatically passed to the other owners (Shillings, 1996, p. 51).
Since the law is stated clearly about joint tenancy and ownership of property, then the asset is rightfully yours as long as your friends never sold it before they passed on without your knowledge.
But before you think of the property as yours, let us discuss the second case.
When you arrived to the North Carolina Mountains, there is this Squatter known as Ernest who claimed he had legal rights on the property. Earnest claims to live in this property for 20 years. If what he says is true, then we might have a problem. North Carolina General Statutes, Article 4, 1-40 gives rights to squatters who have possessed a property for 20 years. It reads;
“No action for the recovery or possession of real property, or the issues and profits thereof, shall be maintained when the person in possession thereof, or defendant in the action, or those under whom he claims, has possessed the property under known and visible lines and boundaries adversely to all other persons for 20 years; and such possessions so held gives a title in fee to the possessor, in such property, against all persons not under disability” (C.C.P., s.23; Code, s. 144; Rev., s. 384; C.S., s. 430.).
It is true that Ernest is the owner of the property. But you should not give up Barney, you can go on with the proceedings and make earnest prove that he owned the property openly. Do not worry about that, since you still have the title deed. Mean while, let us discuss the third case.
In this case, the town authority wants to posses the coastal property to build a public resort. The town authority will use the eminent domain to defend their position. Eminent domain gives the government the right to own a property after compensating the owner with the aim of doing something that will benefit the public at large (Kelo, 2005, p.19). We will go on and object this, but the government will use condemnation proceedings for its defense. When I say condemnation, it is a legal term that involves a process by which the government acquires ownership of private property for public use over the protest of the owner of the property (Kubasek et al, 2012, p. 380).
The town authorities use the public to defend their case. The town of Carolina beach which is the defendant must prove that the proposed business will benefit the public. This is similar to the case of SusetteKelo v. City of London. The court rule the case in favor of the defendant, the City of London because they presented a successful plan that would lead to economic development of new London. I am sure the court will also rule in favor of the town of Carolina Beach.
The last case is on your stolen Vehicle. I am sure that you will have your car back. You should report to the police that your car has been found. This will help the police identify the thief and punish him for his actions. Your car was stolen and sold and we can prove that there was negligence that was exercised by the dealer. The thief did not have documents for the car when he sold it to the dealer. The dealer therefore knowingly operated outside a legal transaction. Kubasek argues that the four steps of conveyance include execution, delivery, acceptance and recording. The dealer failed in the step of recording. Recording help identify if there are two deeds that convey the same piece of property. The owner of the property is the one whose deed was recorded first. You are the owner of the car Barney and no cost will be incurred in getting it back (Kubasek, 2012, p. 382).
In conclusion, I am glad that you have not let your frustrations overwhelm you. You followed the right path and the court will do its part in all these cases. In exodus 22: 9 the scripture states, “ In all cases of illegal possession of an ox, a donkey, a sheep, a garment, or any other lost property about which somebody says, ‘This is mine,’ both parties are to bring their cases before the judges (NIV).
Kubasek, N., Brennan, B., & Browne, M. (2012).The legal environment of business: A critical
thinking approach. 6 ed. Upper Saddle, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
North Carolina General Assembly – General Statutes. (n.d.).North Carolina General Assembly –
General Statutes. Retrieved April 18, 2014, from http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascripts/statutes/Statutes.asp
Shilling, D. (1996).Joint ownership and elderplanning.Journal of the American Society of CLU &ChFC, 50(6), 51. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/209609002?accountid=12085
SusetteKelo et al., Petitioners, v. City of New London, Connecticut, et al.545 U.S. 469 (2005)