Tarrant County now claims zero adverse possession cases

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by MARCUS MOORE

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WFAA

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 12:20 AM

FORT WORTH - A grand jury has indicted eight people in an adverse possession spree.

Meanwhile, assistant district attorney David Lobingier spent Thursday educating homeowners about a law that's been on the books for years.  Speaking about how some alleged squatters used the law last year, Lobingier said, "It's unconscionable and ludicrous."

The prosecutor said what happened was a perversion of an old law that's in place to be a defense during a land dispute.

Instead, several people have been charged with burglary and theft after claiming homes through adverse possession. In response, Tarrant County stopped accepting the filings and say they now have zero cases.

Lobingier added that resident's homes are safe.

"I'm glad we got it stopped and glad we're on the cutting edge of getting it stopped," Lobingier said. "Now we're helping other jurisdictions work through it."

They have talked to other counties in Texas and as far away as Florida.

In all, the county says some 60 adverse possessions were filed. The District Attorney's office said real estate attorneys are working pro bono, to help property owners who have become victims.

The eight people accused are now facing trial on charges of burglary of a habitation and theft.

E-mail mmoore@wfaa.com

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