Property Case

Property Case

 Advice to Barney from a religious perspective

As my brother in Christ, I would give Barney the following advice on all the matters he is facing. Firstly, I would advise him to be grateful to God for enabling him to attain the retirement age and to retire from his job. This advice is reinforced by the fact that his three friends, with whom he collaborated with to buy the prime real estate in North Carolina Mountains with i.e. Andy, Floyd, and Howard, are all dead. He has no justification to complain or feel like the world or society is unfair to him (Holy Bible, 1984). In fact God has been very kind to him. Barney is actually to blame for the state he found the prime real estate in North Carolina Mountains in. It was actually irresponsible for him to have bought the property and not visit it for a period of 20 years.  Barney should have visited his properties regularly; for by doing so he would have noticed the developments thereon and taken appropriate steps to correct the situations early enough.  Barney was lazy by failing to manage his estate diligently. Laziness brings with it undesirable consequences Proverbs 20:4(Holy Bible, 1984).

Barney should move to court to get Ernest evicted from his property. This is reinforced by Biblical teachings found in Mathew 22:33 “The parable of the tenants” whereby Jesus talked of the landlord evicting worthless tenants. In this case Ernest qualifies to be regarded as a worthless tenant because he attacked the real owner of the property he has invaded(Holy Bible, 1984). On the issue of the prime real estate in the North Carolina Mountains being foreclosed by a bank for a loan taken by Opie, son of Andy, Barney should seek audience with Opie to establish the circumstances which led to him defaulting on the loan. The meeting should be held with the view of getting him and Opie to visit the bank to try and come to an amicable agreement on how to pay the remaining loan balance. This is informed by scripture found in 1st Corinthians 6: 7-9 which encourages Christians not to take each other to court (Holy Bible, 1984). Barney should not take Opie to court because of this scripture even if he is not a Christian as he is. The Bible commends him in that same scripture for being an obedient Christian if he is the one cheated on rather than him cheating others of their property (Holy Bible, 1984).

On the matter of the beach house in Carolina Beach, NC, Barney should let it go and take the compensation he is being offered and look for a new property to buy. If the property will be taken over for the public good then Barney would be in sin if he holds on to it. The Bible in Galatians 5:19-21 isolates the following sins that Barney would be falling into by refusing with the property. These are selfish ambition, factions and discord (Holy Bible, 1984). Barney would cause factions and discord among the area residents by filing a case in court to prevent the state from demolishing his property. Since the demolition will pave way for new developments which will create benefits for the public, Barney will be blocking those benefits for the sole purpose or pride of owning a beach house. This is purely an act of selfish ambition and is a sin in the bible (Holy Bible, 1984).

The bible also expressly commands Christians to obey authorities and also give to Caesar (government) what belongs to it. The Bible in Luke 14:25-33 advices a Christian not to go against a king with more soldiers than him. The state is like a king with more soldiers than Barney so he cannot win. Lastly peter 3:10 indicates that God will destroy the earth and everything it with fire (Holy Bible, 1984). Barney should realize that even if he refused with the house it would still not be of use to him in the end and he should instead strive for the permanent residence in heaven reserved for those who obey God by living according to the scriptures (Holy Bible, 1984).  On the matter of the 1963 Ford Galaxie, Barney should simply reimburse the man who had the car the $5,600.00 he asked for and wait the police to arrest the thief. After the thief is arrested he will then clarify whether he received $5,600.00 from the man or not. He would then sue the thief for the $5,600.00 he paid the man.  According to the scriptures it is better to be cheated than to cheat others out of their property.

Advice to Barney from a legal perspective

On the matter of the beach house, Barney should realize that he stands no chance of winning the case in court to block demolition of his house. According to Nagel & Southall (2007) the state can exercise its eminent domain powers   to condemn land and compensate the land owners in line with the prevailing market rates for similar property in the locality. If the land is being taken for public use then the state can exercise eminent domain powers to condemn it. The beneficiaries of the land may or may not be known and the state may or may not demonstrate how the land use will benefit the public. In the case of Kelo v City of New London, 2005, all private land is vulnerable to be taken by the state for economic development as long as the public stands to gain from the said development (Nagel & Southall, 2007).  Barney will be unable to reverse the condemnation of his house. I would advise him to take the compensation as fast as he could and look for a new property if he so wishes.

On the matter of the property at North Carolina Mountains, severance of joint tenancy deed guides severance of joint tenancy with right of survivorship. According to (Volkmer, 2008) survivorship is the key feature in joint tenancy with right of survivorship.  The title to the property extends to the whole property and once the three joint tenants die the title is legally considered to survive in the surviving joint owner who in this case is Barney.   Consequently, the other three dead co-owners have nothing to pass on or leave by will to their dependants because the surviving tenant (Barney) is the current property title holder. The bank should not have given Opie the loan with that property as collateral because his father could not pass the property to him in a will. The fact that Andy conferred possession of the land to Opie in a will that he wrote was voidable as it constituted lapsed devises in a will.  I will therefore request Barney for authorization to commence court proceedings to stop the bank from foreclosing the property on the basis that Opie is not the owner of the property as it belongs to Barney.

Ernest cannot claim ownership of the property according to adverse possession because he has lived on it for 20 years and claims to have made some improvements on it.  According to Weinberger & LeGrand (2009), adverse possession cannot be used as a basis of ownership of a land if the occupier has not obtained title to the property. In this case Barney still holds Title to the property and not Ernest. In addition there is no evidence that Ernest has been cultivating the land or has made any substantial improvement on the property. In fact instead of living in the main house Ernest constructed a cabin next to the main house which in effect does not constitute improvements on the property. Ernest cannot sustain a claim of possession in court based on adverse possession.

On the matter of the1963 Ford Galaxie, Barney needs to note that he entered into a bailment with the restaurant legally when he handed his car to Carl to park. However the restaurant is not liable for the theft of his car by Carl since in addition he was even a former employee of the restaurant (Posch, 1994). Barney cannot sue the restaurant for compensation for the loss of his car. According to Fritzke (2008) purchasers should be careful not to purchase stolen property because they risk lose of their money. In the case of Barney, he can sue the man to hand over his car without reimbursing him the $5,600.00 because it was the duty of the man to establish the ownership of the car before committing himself in the deal with Carl.


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The Holy Bible, New International Version  (NIV). (1984) , Biblica Inc.

Volkmer, R. R. (2008). Accomplishing the severance of a joint tenancy. Estate Planning, 35(3), 45-46. Retrieved from

Weinberger, A. M., J.D., & LeGrand, L. E., J.D. (2009). Adverse possession claimant must

improve, cultivate, or enclose the land sought. The Appraisal Journal, 77(4), 301. Retrieved from



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