Homeowner goes to court to remove would-be adverse possessors

Print
Email
|

by JIM DOUGLAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaajdouglas

WFAA

Posted on December 30, 2011 at 12:43 AM

MANSFIELD - The house on Hillgrove Court in Mansfield has a sad, and now strange history.

Brenda and Roscoe Thornton bought it. Then he died, and she moved out when she couldn't make payments. But the Tarrant Appraisal District still lists Thornton as the owner.

And while she waited for the bank to sort it out, strangers simply moved in.

"And then all this comes along, to find out your home [is] taken over by some other people," Brenda Thornton said. "It's wrong."

Selena and Andre Brown claimed they legally took the house under the law of adverse possession. They paid a $16 fee to file an affidavit.

For Selena, it's a family affair.

Her mother and brother also claimed homes under adverse possession. As a result, all three of them have now been charged with burglary and theft.

"It's really hurting for people to [treat] people like this," Thornton said. "It's wrong to get into someone's property, and then try to take advantage of [them.]"

At an eviction hearing Thursday, both sides agreed on a date for the Browns to get their belongings out. Attorney Patricia Larue agreed to help Brenda Thornton sort through the legal thicket, free of charge.

"[I'm doing it] to assist people who are victims of what I consider to be a scam," Larue said.

When News 8 questioned the Browns several weeks ago, they told us they learned about adverse possession from Kenneth Robinson.

He's the man who drew national attention this summer by seizing a Flower Mound home and launching a website to show others how to do it.

Robinson hasn't been charged with anything yet. But many of those who took his advice now find themselves evicted and facing criminal charges.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

Print
Email
|