The property that Barney and his friends bought as joint tenants had a right of survivorship. Being the only one surviving, Barney should be the sole owner of the property. However, one of the co-owners had conveyed his interest by way of a will to his son. Joint tenancy requires that all owners have equal rights to the property and actions of any co-owner to the property must be agreed upon by others. Nevertheless, the will that conveyed Andy’s interest to his son broke the joint tenancy and created a tenancy in common (Singer, 2010). Consequently, Andy’s son is not under any restriction on how to use his share of the interest. In this regard, his actions of taking a loan using his interest in the property as security were not against the law. Therefore, Barney should be satisfied with the remaining share of the property which includes the share of Floyd and Howard.
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Another problem is that Ernest claims that the land belongs to him because he has been staying on the land for the last 20 years. The law allows a person to claim ownership of a property by adverse possession if the person has been using the property for at least 15 years without the knowledge or agreement from the legal owner (Hepburn, 2001). Nonetheless, the person filing for adverse possession must have changed the form of the property as was held in the case of Cone v. West Virginia Pulp & Paper (Singer, 2010). Ernest had built on the land and has been staying there for 20 years. Moreover, Barney had never been to the property for all that period. Barney was not aware that there was somebody on the land or that there was some development on it. All this satisfies the conditions necessary for adverse possession. However, Barney should try to talk with Ernest and come up with a solution, even if means dividing the land.
For the house in Carolina beach, it would be wise to take the compensation offered given that it is at the current market rates. This is because the law allows the government to take private property by eminent domain for the sake of public use or economic development. Moreover, Barney is not using the house for any economic activity. In the case of Kelo v. City of New London (2005), the Supreme Court held that non-blighted private property could be taken by eminent domain (Singer, 2010). The takings clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution stipulates that eminent domain could be carried out provided private owners are compensated and the taking is for public use. This has also been affirmed in the case of Berman v. Parker (1954) and Hawaii Housing Authority v. Midkiff (1984) (Clarke, 2005). On the same note, pursuing a court case would be a waste of time and money.
Lastly, when Barney’s car was stolen by the person who pretended to work for the restaurant, it underwent several transactions before he was able to get it at a classic car show. It has also been proved that the man showing the car gained possession of the car through an ordinary business transaction and was not aware that the car was stolen. As a result, Barney cannot legally force him to give up the car. This is because sections 1-201(9) and 2-403 of the Uniform Commercial Code allows the man to keep possession of the car if he can prove that he was a good faith purchaser (Clarke, 2005). Therefore, Barney can only take legal action against the person who stole the car from him.
Clarke, A. (2005). Property Law: Commentary and Materials. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hepburn, S. (2001). Principals of Property Law. London: Routledge.
Singer, J. W. (2010). Property Law: Rules Policies and Practices 5e. Alphen aan den Rijn: Aspen Publishers.