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Ritter receives 'adverse-possession' bill for approval

A bill that would change the longtime legal concept of “adverse possession” gained final approval from the Colorado General Assembly today and is on its way to Gov. Ritter’s desk.

Evergreen Republican Rep. Rob Witwer and Boulder Democrat Sen. Ron Tupa are co-sponsoring House Bill 1148, which the pair crafted in the wake of a controversial Boulder land dispute.

McLean and Stevens sued neighbors Don and Susie Kirlin in 2006, using the long-standing doctrine — essentially a squatters’ rights law — to claim the land next door.

Ritter has 30 days to either approve or veto the bill, which has garnered overwhelming support among state lawmakers.

If he approves it, a “good faith” provision and other requirements would be added to the law of adverse possession, which now allows trespassers to claim land after using it openly and continuously for at least 18 years.

Witwer said the bill is a victory for property owners.

“It’s a great day for private-property rights,” he said. “I only wish we could have done it sooner.”

Tupa has said the bill will likely become “one of the strongest adverse-possession laws in the country.”

House Bill 1193, introduced by Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, also is awaiting Ritter’s final approval.

If Ritter signs that bill, Colorado judges would be barred from presiding over cases involving other current or former judges within the same jurisdiction.

Levy said she sponsored the bill in reaction to the Kirlin case.

Comments

Posted by Jademoon on April 3, 2008 at 4:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I guess one good thing to come out of all this is that we do actually look out for each other in the end- the common outspoken outrage on this all the way up the chain united this community on at least one point. A rare occurence these days and nice to see.

Posted by oilburner on April 3, 2008 at 4:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

well, this should quiet the critics who said that the outrage elicited on these comments was pointless. It was that anger that prompted swift and decisive action from the ground up.

Kudos to all involved!

Posted by vkberlin on April 3, 2008 at 5:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Sonny, good thing we did not listen to you:

"I wanted to
the first time I saw commentary on
the case. I wanted to say, "Hell no,
that's not the reason the judge did
what he did." I wanted to tell people
they were dumb, short-sighted, lacking in perspective or just
plain wrong. But I knew that wouldn't
work."

Thank goodness

Posted by rayq on April 3, 2008 at 5:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

April fool's day is past and Sonny is the biggest fool at last. Still leading by doing nothing, I see.

Posted by rayq on April 3, 2008 at 5:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I wonder how mad Sonny is about Fraud on the court. Probably, not at all.

Posted by ImInBoulder on April 3, 2008 at 5:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Exactly right, oilburner.

It does the heart good to see a good thing (community togetherness) come from something so mean and cynical.

Frank Capra would be proud of us! :-D

Posted by joker49 on April 3, 2008 at 5:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

That's the Boulder Bars best? Much ado about nothing my arse.Pay attention Sonny,you mite learn something here about integrity.Or not.

Posted by albanal on April 3, 2008 at 6:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Attributing this bill to flames in the DC comment section smacks of delusional megalomania, or maybe the belief that the tail is wagging the dog. If the papers hadn't hammered this story, absolutely nothing would have happened.

Don't dislocate your arms patting yourselves on the back.

Posted by rayq on April 3, 2008 at 6:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Nothing exists in a vacuum. One hand does wash the other. We can say that if the interest did not exist, the story would of been dropped long ago. Patting ourselves on the back sounds real good to me.

Posted by rayq on April 3, 2008 at 6:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I consider Heath Urie one of "We The People". I'll ride his star and lift him up to greater heights. Grateful Me, (little apple polisher,ray)

Posted by albanal on April 3, 2008 at 6:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This bill exists because the injured parties were people of considerable means who could fight a lengthy court battle, and because the media got interested in the story.

Little people get ground up and spit out in the court system every day of the year, and neither the papers or the self-absorbed citizens of Boulder take any notice.

Posted by rayq on April 3, 2008 at 7:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

albanal:

I agree with you 100%. I also believe in talking back to power, no matter how futile.

Posted by User_Name on April 3, 2008 at 7:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Albanal- Why so bitter? This is a happy time. By the way, how do we parse your name. Is it al-banal, or alb-...?

Posted by rayq on April 3, 2008 at 7:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Also, injustice can be done to people of considerable means. I am happy the kirlins have the means to fight this injustice. I wish all of us did. I will follow the case to conclusion.

Posted by susan on April 3, 2008 at 7:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

New Law: Don't ever do what Judge Dick and Edith Stevens do.

They should be so proud!

Who is so high and mighty, now?

Posted by albanal on April 3, 2008 at 8:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Well, I'm high. But not mighty.

Posted by Yerba on April 3, 2008 at 10:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Colorado judges would be barred from presiding over cases involving other current or former judges within the same jurisdiction."

Hallelujah! No more good ol' boy favors.

And yes, Susan, good point ... this law will protect us from immoral people like McLean and Stevens.

Posted by trappist99 on April 3, 2008 at 10:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Little people get ground up and spit out in the court system every day of the year"....albanal.

Very True, lawyers abuse the law for their own ends every day, which makes the McLean/Stevens affair so important. Just once they overreached and didn't get away with it.

Posted by katiekurt on April 4, 2008 at 8:30 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Good News...

Don't we also need a law requiring that lost puppies be returned?

Posted by lissmth on April 4, 2008 at 8:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It always takes a new state law to calm the activities of the Boulder Democrat Machine.

Posted by greystonewest on April 5, 2008 at 1:47 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"Don't dislocate your arms patting yourselves on the back."

"Attributing this bill to flames in the DC comment section smacks of delusional megalomania, or maybe the belief that the tail is wagging the dog."

"This bill exists because the injured parties were people of considerable means who could fight a lengthy court battle, and because the media got interested in the story."

silly albanall. Rob Witwer had the bill written before he ever talked to the Kirlin's, much less meet them. The first time Witwer and Kirlin met was at house judiciary committee meeting.

Where were you albanal? I was there and didn't see you.

Kinda weird, you putting out statements that are not fact.

This bill exists because some of us own property. Its the dream, look it up. Rise up.

I have just stated a fact.

Posted by greystonewest on April 5, 2008 at 1:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

btw, Just got home from a great tribute to Dan Fogleberg at the Pioneer Inn. Bunny Spangler is a fantastic hostess!

Didn't see Conrad, Claire or Dick there.

http://photo.bouldercountydems.org/displ...

They can't travel respected circles.

I have just stated a fact.

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