Saturday, May 25, 2024

Royal Alexander: Legally Perverse, Idiotic Issue of Squatters’ ‘Rights’ Deserves Attention

by BIZ Magazine

The Biden chickens are coming home to roost.  Crime committed by American squatters is bad enough but due to the Biden Border Invasion we are experiencing both an illegal alien and domestic crime problem with squatting due to disarming and defunding the police, no bail and other Democrat and Biden issues.

It’s difficult to believe there is actually a need to give attention to an issue, property rights, that is so well-settled as a matter of law and American history.  However, the problem has been occurring across the country for several years and is now doing so with even greater frequency.

First, allow me to address the issue.

As we know, one of America’s most fundamental and distinctive rights is the ownership of private property.  But, because a large segment of the American culture has moved away from traditional notions of hard work and integrity and toward a sense of universal entitlement, we now have situations in which individuals squat in other people’s homes or on their property and, after a period of time has elapsed, the invader is deemed to “own” it.

What am I referring to?

As the Wall Street Journal has reported, a prospective Venezuelan illegal expressed his plan for “invading a house in the United States” and taking it from the owner. “I found out that there is a law that says that if a house is not inhabited, we can seize it.” (WSJ, March 27, 2024).  Well, because of the Biden Border Invasion, “he’s not wrong about his home-invasion scam.  Squatters are moving into people’s homes uninvited, and once in they can be almost impossible to dislodge.”

It’s occurring across the country.

“ … in New York last week: When Adele Andaloro tried to rid the house she inherited from her parents of squatters by changing the locks, the cops led her away in handcuffs.  The squatters could still make themselves at home.” (WSJ, id.).  WSJ further notes “in Georgia, Paul Callins found squatters had moved into his home and changed the locks while he was away caring for his sick wife.  In Texas, Houston schoolteacher Amberlyn Prather and her family used a fake lease to occupy a Houston home.  In California, Flash Shelton retook his mother’s house by moving in when the squatters were out—and then claimed squatter’s rights himself.  Two squatters were arrested Friday in connection with the murder of Nadia Vitel after she confronted them in her late mother’s Manhattan apartment this month.”

Still further, Danielle Cruz, a Chicago homeowner, “states she is struggling to remove a squatter from her property because local police cannot remove the woman due to state laws.  Cruz was hoping to sell the three-bedroom property, calling police when she discovered the squatter inside.  When he (contractor) walked in to check out the roof, he realized there was a young woman who moved in all of her belongings, and she took over the home” Cruz stated.  They could not remove her, the police said, because they couldn’t prove that she was trespassing even though all of the locks on the home had been broken and changed.” (Fox News, June 9, 2022). 

The real problem is that in many parts of the country squatters are granted some form of ownership rights after 30 days.  The police can’t know for certain or immediately what the situation really is and if an individual claims to be a “tenant,” a homeowner must undertake an eviction proceeding to have them removed from the home which may take weeks or months.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said, “no more” and was one of the first in the country to sign a bill effectively ending squatters’ rights in his state. “You are not going to be able to commandeer somebody’s private property and expect to get away with it,” DeSantis stated. (NBC 15 News, March 29, 2024). 

As our Founding Father John Adams said, “property is surely a right of mankind as real as liberty itself”… because property rights afford Americans the ability to be free and autonomous and to enjoy ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,’ and to prosper in a just society governed by the rule of law. 

This attack on fundamental property rights is wholly consistent with Biden’s attack on the rights and freedoms of all Americans across the spectrum.  But his attack on property rights—an indispensable component of human freedom—may be the most dangerous and must be addressed.

Shreveport attorney, Royal Alexander, worked in D.C. in the U.S. House of Representatives for nearly 8 years for two different Members of Congress from Louisiana. 

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