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Fri February 8, 2013
Squatter Relying On Archaic Law Is Kicked Out Of Florida Mansion
Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 1:30 pm
The unlikely tale of "Loki Boy" came to a quick, uneventful resolution on Thursday.
Without incident, Boca Raton Police have evicted Andre "Loki Boy" Barbosa from the $2.5 million mansion he had been squatting in citing Florida law.
The Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that Barbosa had been been living in the 7,200 square-foot home with an ocean view since December. The foreclosed home is owned by Bank of America, but it had remained empty for more than 18 months.
Barbosa moved in shortly after Christmas, filing for "adverse possession" with the county. WPBF gives a primer on the archaic Florida law:
"The law is designed to establish ownership in the absence of a title or other documents. By filing a legal notice with the property appraiser, paying taxes and liens, and living in the house in an open manner, the resident may legally take ownership after seven years, barring objections from the original owner.
"However, Bank of America, which owns the property, has filed a lawsuit seeking to eject Barbosa and eight others. The lawsuit also seeks damages for breaking and entering."
Boca police, reports ABC, worked with the state attorney's office, which determined "a trespassing charge could apply." So last night, police warned Barbosa that remaining in the house would mean he was trespassing. They moved in and found personal belongings but no people.
In a statement to ABC, Bank of America said it takes "trespassing seriously, and in the interest of the community, we will take appropriate legal action to protect this and all properties we service."
The Sun-Sentinel adds that since Barbosa's case went public, adverse possession filings have become more common.
"Barbosa's occupation — the most valuable adverse possession attempted in Palm Beach County over the last 10 years — has spawned copycats who have filed more than a half-dozen adverse possession notices in the Broward County Appraiser's Office since his case was publicized," the paper writes.