Categorized | National News

Your Legal Entitlement Is In Danger

By P.J. Malone

Remember? You have discovered and purchased a beautiful piece of peninsula on the most southwestern tip of an island in The Bahamas on which you built your dream home (see “The Clifton Review: The Genesis of The Battle of The Billionaires”). You access your property through the only roadway that leads to it, for which you possess deeded access rights.

Continuing with the saga, your neighbour has pretty much communicated to you, by his actions, that you have no rights, as far as the deeded roadway is concerned, other than to be able to access your property in some form.

He has made several changes to the roadway creating impediments for your guests and making it difficult for everyone to access your property, as described in “The Genesis of The Battle of The Billionaires” article.

You have no choice but to seek redress from the courts. So, you commence legal action against your neighbour. You want the court to stop your neighbour from doing things with the roadway that is inconsistent with your deeded rights:

  • In the courts, your neighbour claims that he is entitled to do what he did to the deeded roadway without your approval since he owns all the other lots associated with the road; and that the only obligation he has to you is to provide a roadway for you to pass to be able to enter and exit your property.
  • Further, your neighbour claims you have already acquiesced to what he has already done, which means you acknowledge that he owns the land of the roadway and could do to it as he pleases.
  • To add insult to injury, your neighbour files a counterclaim against you for damages, claiming you used the roadway in a way that is beyond your right to pass: you used it to transport building materials, supplies and equipment to carry out construction that is not authorized by The Bahamas Government or you don’t have the requisite permit or approval.
  • The court case gets underway but ends up involving many legal applications and challenges. While the court case is going on, there are still issues with the roadway:
  • In order to help your guests find your property, you have your handyman put up a sign along the roadway directing people to your property only to have it removed—most likely by your neighbor.
  • You have your handyman put up more signs over your neighbour’s signs, which results in your neighbour having your handyman arrested for criminal damage, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment. Luckily this is able to be resolved without imprisonment.
  • It is eventually ruled by one of the Justices involved in the case that both you and your neighbour’s signs need to be removed until the case is settled.
  • In the meantime, you remove the boulders your neighbour placed along side the roadway, you raise the road in front of your gate to stop the water from pooling there, and you remove the gates that are often locked preventing you from accessing your property, as was described in “The Genesis of The Battle of The Billionaires” article.
  • For these actions, you were found in contempt of court because you did these things before your ‘right-away was legally established’. So, you had to answer for that.
  • In the meantime, the years are going by and you are still locked in this legal battle.
  • At the end of the day, you and your neighbour come to a settlement agreement. That agreement involved a written acknowledgement of your legal rights to the roadway, which you had been trying to assert all along.

Why couldn’t your neighbour just acknowledge this in the first place?

 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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