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Published Book or Work by:

Rick Guinness

gunclub wins in court against developer

gunclub wins in court against developer
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Published by Journal Iquirer
May, 18, 2000
TheFiringLine Forums > The Conference Center > Legal and Political > HORAY!!! WE finally WIN one in Conn!!!! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PDAView Full Version : HORAY!!! WE finally WIN one in Conn!!!! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ernest22000-05-18, 10:42 PM Robert T Crook wrote: > > ----- Original Message ----- > From: Robert T Crook <ccsct@erols.com> > Sent: Thursday, May 18, 2000 9:31 AM > Subject: Gun club wins in court against developer > > > Gun club wins in court against developer > > May 12 2000 12:00AM By By Rick Guinness Journal Inquirer > > > > > > Judge gives group land based on 'squatter's rights' defense > > > > SOMERS - A New Britain Superior Court judge on Thursday gave the Somers > > Sportsmen's Association gun club the land on which it has operated for > more > > than 40 years but has not owned, citing a law that dates from feudal > times. > > > > > > Lawyer John Parks, who defended the gun club in a lawsuit brought by a > > developer who had bought the land from the heirs of previous owners, had > > used a statute known as "adverse possession" in arguing the case. > > > > > > "Adverse possession" is a little-used method of acquiring title, according > > to Parks. It says that if someone visibly occupies property for 15 years > or > > more without permission of the owner, that property can be awarded to > them. > > > > > > Parks referred to it as "squatter's rights." > > > > > > Judge Arnold Aronson said in his decision, which was released Thursday, > that > > Parks had proved the club met the criteria for "adverse possession." > > > > > > Parks described the victory as "huge." > > > > > > "They gave us the heart of the property," he said. > > > > > > Parks argued that the Somers gun club had been on the land since 1957, > when > > Robert A. Galbraith - who owned 45 acres on Denison Road in Somers and 20 > > acres in Stafford - gave verbal permission for the club to operate on 23 > > acres of his land. > > > > > > The permission to use that land "terminated on the date of Galbraith's > death > > on Nov. 23, 1967," he contended, and none of the subsequent owners ever > gave > > the club permission to be there. > > > > > > Judge cites property improvements > > > > > > Galbraith had set up a trust for his mother and sisters, administered by > > Connecticut Bank and Trust - now Fleet Bank. When they died, the land was > > left to Galbraith's nephews Tyrone W. G. Marshall and Thomas V. Marshall > in > > 1996. > > > > > > In order to protect its interest in the land, the club offered to buy the > > entire 65 acres from the Marshalls for $250,000, and lease the house they > > live in back to them for $700 per month. > > > > > > However, the Marshalls decided to sell the land to lawyer Bruce Tyler for > > $250,000, with a rent deal of $300 a month. Tyler, who set up a > corporation > > called Top of the Town LLC, which was expected to build new homes on the > > property, took title Oct. 23, 1997, and soon tried to evict the gun club. > > > > > > Aronson ruled that the gun club met the criteria for "adverse possession." > > > > > > "The association has made considerable improvements to the premises, > > including a rifle range, pistol range, skeet shooting range, turkey shoot > > range, and archery range," Aronson wrote, adding that the association also > > built a club house, installed two generators and portable toilets that the > > club maintains, and kept up the landscaping. > > > > > > "All of these facts point to the association acting as an owner of the > > property with exclusive possession of the premises," he wrote. > > > > No attempts to evict club > > > > > > Aronson said that when Galbraith died, "it was incumbent upon his executor > > and subsequently his trustees to preserve and protect the trust assets," > but > > that the executor "assumed the association was occupying the subject > > premises as tenants at will." > > > > > > If any of the heirs had made an attempt to kick the association off the > > property or if they had given permission for association to be there, that > > would have supported the plaintiff's claim of possession, he said. > > > > > > But "they made no effort to evict the association nor convert the > > relationship to a possessory interest in the land such as a lease," > Aronson > > wrote, adding that while the club paid taxes on the land, the bank "never > > undertook to define the relationship of the association with CBT as > > trustee." > > > > > > Tyler said that the judge's decision points to the bank's actions as > > basically forfeiting the property. > > > > > > The judge had ruled that the prior attempt on the part of the club to buy > > the land did not defeat its claim to "adverse possession." It was not a > > recognition of title, but an attempt to protect what they already > considered > > theirs. > > > > > > The judge concluded that the claim of "adverse possession" "spans 30 years > > of open, exclusive, and hostile use." In this context, hostile means > > "possession against the claims of others, including the record owner," > > according to Black's Law Dictionary. > > > > > > The judge set aside the conveyance of the land to Top of the Town LLC and > > gave title to the 23 acres to the gun club. The mortgage deed from Top of > > the Town to the Marshall brothers is declared void. > > > > > > The Marshall brothers were unavailable for comment. And Tyler would not > say > > whether he would appeal. The parties have 20 days to decide whether to > > appeal. > > > > Club members elated > > > > > > Club members say they are elated about the decision. > > > > > > Fred Meyers, a member of the club said: "We owe a big debt of gratitude to > > our past president, Pete Yarusewicz, for starting the process, and ... > Parks > > for winning it for us." > > > > > > Association President Arthur Hoza said of the decision: "A lot of people > > didn't think we would win, that it was a waste of money. But a group of us > > felt this was our only route of action. If we didn't do this, the club > would > > no longer be in existence." > > > > > > Tyler agrees the club has reason to celebrate the decision: He said it > would > > be next to impossible to start a gun club today. > > > > > > "The gun club is getting a windfall," Tyler said. "They are getting 23 > acres > > where they had none before." > > > > > > Hoza said the decision will also benefit non-members in Somers because > "the > > land will not be broken up and used for new homes. It will still be open > > space." > > > > > > Parks began celebrating the decision immediately when he learned of it > > Thursday, running over to the Somers Inn, where he ordered an Irish coffee > > and lit up a cigar. > > > > > > But he has another celebration in mind. > > > > > > Ancient ritual planned > > > > > > Half way through his drink, while reflecting on his victory, Parks > recalled > > an ancient custom by which land was passed from one to another in feudal > > times. > > > > > > A person could convey land by performing the "livery of seisin" ritual, > > which involved handing over a clod or twig, which represented "seisin," > the > > holding of an estate by physical possession. > > > > > > Because the adverse possession defense was rooted in feudal law, Parks > > realized that a livery of seisin ritual is in order. So he finished his > > drink, drove over to the Sportsman's Association, and collected a cup full > > of dirt, which he says he will present to his client, at a time and place > to > > be announced. > > ***** > > > > Crowd packs school for Sportsmen's victory ritual > > May 16 2000 12:00AM By By Rick Guinness Journal Inquirer > > > > SOMERS - A crowd of more than 60 packed the Kibbe Fuller School meeting > room > > Monday - and many more stood in the hallway outside - to celebrate the > > Somers Sportsmen's Association's court victory that keeps it on its > Denison > > Road land. > > > > > > In the "livery of seisin" rite, lawyer John Parks, who represented the > > association, took a cup of dirt from the 23 acres the club has used for > more > > than 40 years and handed it to past club president Pete Yarusewicz, who > > handed it on to current president Arthur Hoza. He will keep the cup, and > > pass it on to the group's next president. > > > > > > In New Britain Superior Court last Thursday, the association won the right > > to stay on the land. The court ruled against developer Top of the Town > LLC, > > which wanted to evict the association and build a subdivision on the land. > > > > > > "Let me tell you, it was possession that won the case," Parks told the > > crowd. "You guys possessed this property as exclusively as anyone I've > ever > > seen. So it's fitting we have a livery of seisin to commemorate the > official > > possession of the property you now own." > > > > > > In 1957, landowner Robert Galbraith gave the club permission to use 23 of > > his 65 acres. Galbraith died in 1967; the club stayed on the land, fenced > it > > off, ran its activities, made significant improvements, and all without > > permission from any of the subsequent owners. > > > > > > Lawyer Bruce Tyler bought the land from Galbraith's nephews in 1997, and > > began proceedings to evict the club. > > > > > > Several association members said they feared the court would rule against > > them, because of anti-gun sentiment around the nation - pointing to media > > coverage of this past weekend's Million Mom March. "I thought the media's > > anti-gun bias might go against us," said Louis Agro, 69, a member since > > 1971. > > > > > > Hoza and Yarusewicz, however, said they never doubted the club's case. > Their > > comrades were not so sure, saying a loss probably would have disbanded the > > club. > > > > > > After Judge Arnold Aronson's decision was released Thursday, Parks seized > on > > the idea for the ceremony, a rite from medieval times used to symbolize > the > > transfer of land. > > > > > > As part of the celebration, members applauded Friday afternoon newspaper > > headlines about the victory, gave Parks a standing ovation, made him an > > honorary member of the association, and promised to buy him a cannon to > put > > in his front yard. > > > > > > Parks said he was humbled by the reception, and said he could "feel the > > energy in the room." At one point, while thanking individual > > > > members, he had to choke back tears when he mentioned Earl Provencher, a > > past president who died March 1, before the decision was announced. > > > > > > Provencher's son, Mike Provencher, said he is sure his father is aware of > > the victory. ------------------ GUN CONTROL puts THE CONTROL in the hands of THE CRIMINALS. ----------------------------------------------- In 2000, we must become politically active in support of gun rights or we WILL LOSE the right & the freedom. ------------------------- NO FATE BUT WHAT WE MAKE!!! ---------------------- Every year,over 2 million Americans use firearms not to take live but to preserve life,....limb & family .Gun Control Democrats would prefer that they are all disarmed and helpless and die victims of felony violence,instead. Protect your gun rights, go to: http://home.xnet.com/~gizmonic/TheMarch.html and sign up as a helper or attendee or state organizer. ernest2, Conn. CAN opp. "Do What You Can"! http://thematrix.acmecity.com/digital/237/cansite/can.html -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hal2000-05-19, 04:00 AM :) -for the victory! :( -for the terms used-squatters,windfall, adverse. Even when *we* win one, they try to make us lose. $%$@ media. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Oatka2000-05-19, 12:54 PM Banzai! to Judge Arnold Aronson's decision. It gives this cynics heart the warm and fuzzies. I suspect the judge will now be ostracized by his PC cohorts, and he'll probably NEVER be considered for a higher post in that state. ------------------ The New World Order has a Third Reich odor. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- vBulletin® v3.7.1, Copyright ©2000-2008, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
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