The Impossible Dream - Reclaiming Stolen Land
Everybody knows dead men can't lie, right? After all, they're dead and have long since passed from this realm. Their actions or deeds stop when they die.
The reality is that while dead men may no longer be able to lie, con artists and crooks have become well versed in how to use identity theft, probate court and a host of other tactics to hide an ocean full of crooked land deals, theft, financial chicanery and highway robbery.
When it comes to land theft, it's all about paper and sometimes the paper isn't worth being written on–ask any Native American about how valuable some of those "treaties" are. The very thing on which this nation stands, the sanctity of land ownership, has been threatened since the very inception of the nation.
So what, you have a deed. The thieves have document forgers and even judges and county land office clerks in their pockets.
In one Arkansas case, at least half a million dollars in farm land has "disappeared" into a dead man's probate, hidden from title searches, effectively stolen from the man who inherited the property. Land thieves often hide their fraud in dusty probate records—some of which are further hidden by their cohorts in county land record offices.
There are the "public" files, and then there are the "private" files, notwithstanding the fact that, by law, all land records are PUBLIC FILES. Along with the hidden files, there is an underlying atmosphere of fear, on the part of those who are intelligent enough to know something is wrong, and wind up hiring attorneys who delve into legal records, only to find that their attorneys are either bought off or scared off the case.
Heirs to untold millions of dollars of land are often ignorant of the wealth they own. Many have fought over land for so long that it winds up being partitioned and sold out of the family forever—while the"heirs" receive a fraction of its worth from "sales", if they get anything at all.
As the result of misuse of nunc pro tunc as a legal dodge to hold off scrutiny of actions and bury the deed in probate court, one farmer in Arkansas was cheated out of more than a hundred thousand dollars of prime farm land. According to an internet based legal dictionary: Nunc pro tunc literally means "now for then." And, here's the way it works according to one definition:
Occasionally, a court or party to a divorce forgets to file the papers necessary to obtain the final decree (after the interlocutory judgment has been granted), and the result is that the divorce never becomes final. If the oversight presents a problem (for example, one party has already remarried, or there is a tax advantage to being divorced earlier), the court may agree to issue a nunc pro tunc order, which grants the final divorce retroactive to the earlier date.
This phrase is used to express that a thing is done at one time which ought to have been performed at another. Leave of court must be obtained to do things nunc pro tunc, and this is granted to answer the purposes of justice, but never to do injustice. A judgment nunc pro tunc can be entered only when the delay has arisen from the act of the court. http://www.lectlaw.com/def2/n083.htm
And so we have land thieves, plying their cross-generational trade, using the law as a tool to mask the theft of millions dollars of farm real estate, plying real estate piracy tactics with the ease of a child playing with a spinning toy. Using these tactics, modern land thieves manipulate probate cases of dead men, men who have been dead for generations, in a massive fraud to hide ongoing theft and fraud in county courthouse records.
Often, their victims know something is going on, but most are too intimidated by the legal machinery and bureaucracy to put it all together. And, although some of these victims of land theft are aware of what is going on, they are often too frightened to do anything but angrily whisper of the theft to other family members.
Many "know granddaddy had some land somewhere", but they often don't know where, and, if they do, they have no idea how to search county land records, and are totally unprepared to fight back when crooked county clerks put obstacles in their way. Despite the existence of state and federal Open Records laws, government officials often throw roadblocks in the way of citizens who seek information.
In several national investigations by the Associated Press, reporters uncovered widespread non-compliance with state and federal open records laws. County officials reportedly ignored the law, put obstacles in the paths of people wanting access to public records and even "ran background checks" on several individuals who sought information, demanded identification and "reasons why you want these records.
"Records, which are supposed to be public and available to the public, are often anything but, particularly in small communities where clerks, politicians and bureaucrats treat their offices as a divine right, rather than as a service to the public, which pays their salaries. Hence, the scope of the land theft isn't really known because the victims often are either clueless to their own victimhood, or are so accustomed to being victimized that they view their situation as unchangeable.
Unfortunately, millions of acres in prime real estate, the inheritance of tens of thousands of heirs and families, lies hidden beneath a vast web of crooked land deals, doctored documents and intimidation. Even today, with the full power and authority of civil rights laws, open records legislation and land rights activists, the problem continues, often unchecked.
In an article called "Legal Land Theft", one author analyses the effect of private business use of eminent domain to take land from individuals. He argues that, If property can be taken away from the people for private economic development, then that means the government is giving preferential treatment to private forces.
Those private forces would be correctly labeled an aristocracy. The Supreme Court has been prostituted out to the Power Elite for the purpose of transforming the Republic into anoligarchy. (Paul Collins September 13, 2005, NewsWithViews.com)
Essentially, county government entities are giving preferential treatment to land thieves when they willfully obstruct justice and assist real estate thieves to steal land from private owners. When judges, county clerks, county recorders and other government officials conspire with real estate developers to defraud citizens of their land and inheritances, they forfeit the respect of those who elected them and put them in office.
Unfortunately, most of the dirty dealings are hidden from the public. And, even when a landowner has inkling that something "just isn't right", it is often beyond his or her ability to chase all of the facts down and "put it all together."
As the nation continues to feed urban sprawl, farmland becomes prime land for development, often appreciating to unheard of prices. Elderly and minority farmers are often more vulnerable to land theft because they often have neither the education, nor the financial resources to protect themselves.
In one of the greatest swindles in American history, second only to the violation of Native American treaties in the 19th century, landowners are being pushed off of land by people who twist both law and real estate principles to their own crooked ends.Their victims are often left holding the bag after having signed documents without understanding what they are signing, or being presented with forged documents that they don't have the resources to dispute.
Corporate land squatters and encroaching real estate developers are illegally acquiring billions of dollars in farm property today, because no one is coming to the aid of the farmers and landholders who are being victimized.
In this land of the free and the home of the brave, many of our farmers and landowners continue to be victimized by crooked local politicians and thieving real estate developers, who are stealing land their families have held for generations right out from under them.
Katrina may have stomped on New Orleans and parts of Mississippi to the tune of billions of dollars, but the hidden damage that crooked clerks, unscrupulous land speculators, amoral real estate developers and complicit judges aren't doing too shabby, either.
Cross-generational efforts of land pirates and real estate thieves, together with their cohorts in many of the courts and county courthouses of the nation, continue to terrorize vulnerable landowners nationwide. With pen, paper and a briefcase of bogus documents, they're stealing more money than most bank robbers ever dreamed of.
The problem is nationwide, and covers residential and agricultural property, in a massive illegal transfer of properties. Even the"simple thefts" that don't involve complex manipulation of probate courts can result in devastating financial loss.
A California couple claims they are the victim of a land theft in Wisconsin:
Land in Wisconsin has been stolen and the remaining acreage has been rendered effectively worthless. We have been denied due process while living in the State of California. Misrepresentation, interstate wire-fraud, forgery, conspiracy, obstruction and RICO violations have been committed by executives of XXX Title Insurance Company based in Santa Ana, in concert with other public and private parties.
Karen Dorrough's name was forged to a fraudulent land transfer return by Vice President XXXXXX while co-owner Michael Dorrough was never even consulted about a highly destructive alteration to a valid title to land.
They and others continue to seek redress and remedy, but, as many victims of land fraud have discovered, it isn't easy or cheap. Some victims are so discouraged that they think it's downright impossible.
I'm a news director and columnist in southern Indiana and have written4 books and enough articles to wallpaper an outhouse.
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