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Bravos de Boston Title Issues

Recently, the Municipality of Vieques began delivering letters to “owners” in the Bravos de Boston sector containing offers to “sell” the land they occupy.  The formula used by the municipality to determine prices and the reasonning behind their actions is unknown.  A myriad of options have been considered but to no avail.  Some residents are also pleading “discrimination” and many others are greatly concerned with the absence of a plan to face this situation.

We created this category to provide a forum where you can post your questions and comments, and with the purpose of promoting an ample discussion on this subject.  We will do our best to post any submissions presented by our visitors, and will also try to provide some useful information on this very delicate subject.

PLEASE CLICK ON THE “ABOUT” SECTION OF THIS BLOG FOR OUR LEGAL DISCLAIMER.

Thank your for visiting our blog, and let the posts begin.

Very truly yours,

Lampón & Associates

Categories: Bravos de Boston
  1. sheila levin
    July 12, 2007 at 8:42 pm

    We have been emailing with seveal Bravos owners and decided at the moment it is best to do nothing, except get our papers in order in the event we have an opportuniyt to sue for adverse possession. Do you agree with this?

  2. CN
    July 14, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    In elaboration about the waiting strategy, perhaps it might be useful to state what the requirements for Adverse Possession might be, the advantages of waiting for a new administration {new mayor} in Vieques to allow less expensive terms of purchase, waiting for further class action lawsuits and waiting to see what concessions the current administration might be willing to make in the fee structure in hopes of getting the votes of some of the Bravos residents who are not low income.
    Indeed, at the moment, waiting would seem to be an excellent strategy unless the offer from the municipality was low enough to be easily accepted and acted upon before the next election.
    Buyers should be reminded of the activities of CODEFIN if they are not aware of them or have forgotten.

  3. david cohen
    July 15, 2007 at 3:31 pm

    There is property I would like to buy in Bravos, but have hesitated due to the untitled nature of the property and the unsettled nature of when and how such titling will happen. Any further info??

  4. July 16, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    I am interested in the public policy related to granting titles. Can anyone summarize that for me? I would like to read the laws which determine how the titles will be granted in Vieques and how the Municipality arrived at the prices for the titles.

    Can someone post a sample letter that was sent out to Bravos residents by the Municipality? Is it true that a resident can obtain one lot for $1 if it is their primary residence?

    My interest is to educate the public (perhaps write an article) so that the policy can be known in the community and the community can participate in shaping the policy.

  5. July 17, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    Just a note to state that I will respond to all your comments by the end of the day today. All your questions and comments are very interesting, and I am very concerned with the strategy you may be pursuing at this time. Though I cannot go to deep on the subject strategy-wise for the reasons stated in the disclaimer, I will do my best to provide you some information I hope you find very useful.

    Santiago F. Lampón

  6. July 17, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    Dear CN:

    As I look more and more into the issue of adverse possession and the situation with the municipality, I am more and more convinced that waiting is not and “automatic” or “general” solution. More specifically, I believe that waiting may result in someone “relinquishing” some rights he or she may have.

    For example, in one of the variants of the Adverse Possession rule, there is a “good faith” requirement which is not present under another set of circumstances. This requirement could be relinquished if there is no action in response to the letters notified by the municipality. PLEASE NOTE that I am not saying “it will” and that I am only stating “it might” be relinquished subject to a case by case analysis.

    Moreover, you have to consider that the courts will not distinguish one mayor from the other in the event any given situation winds up in court–not that they necessarily have to. If any rights are relinquished while the current mayor is in office and a new mayor comes to town–quite a gamble to say the least–there is no starting over as far as your rights are concerned. Whatever you do or not do right now, will survive beyond the elections.

    To close, please note that these precautions plus others I cannot go over in this blog, are directly related to any negotiation you or anyone else may conduct with the Municipality.

    I hope this helps.

    Santiago F. Lampón

    ESPAÑOL

    Estimado CN:

    Según observo más este asunto de la posesión adversa—llamada oficialmente prescripción adquisitiva—y la situación con el municipio, estoy más y más convencido que esperar no es una solución “automática” o de aplicación “general”. Para ser más específico, estimo que esperar puede resultar en que alguien renuncie a algunos derechos que él o ella pueda tener.

    A modo de ejemplo, una de las variables de la llamada posesión adversa, es que la persona actúe con buena fe…un requisito que no está presente en alguna de las otras modalidades de este fenómeno legal. Dicho requisito puede ser renunciado si no hay acción en respuesta a las cartas notificadas por el Municipio. Por favor observa que no estoy diciendo que en efecto será renunciado sino que podría ser renunciado sujeto a un análisis caso a caso.

    Además de esto, debes considerar que los tribunales no van a distinguir entre un alcalde y otros en la eventualidad que algunas de estas situaciones en efecto terminen en los tribunales, sin querer decir que en efecto anticipo que así sea. Si se renuncian algunos derechos mientras el actual alcalde está en el poder y luego de las elecciones hay un nuevo alcalde—lo cual sería dejar mucho a la suerte—no hay un segundo turno al bate o una nueva oportunidad. Lo que hagan o no hagan ahora sobrevivirá las elecciones.

    Para cerrar, por favor toma nota de que estas precauciones y otras que no puedo mencionar o discutir en este blog, están directamente relacionadas con cualquier negociación que tú o cualquier otra persona pueda llevar a cabo con el Municipio.

    Espero que esto haya ayudado.

    Santiago F. Lampón

  7. July 17, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    Dear David:

    I would not discard any opportunity just yet.

    From a different perspective, note that—currently–there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that titles should be forthcoming. The only question is how much it will cost, if anything at all.

    You should go over the particularities of the property and the proposed deal you are interested in with a counsel of your choice, and then make an informed decision.

    Best regards,

    Santiago F. Lampón

    ESPAÑOL

    Estimado David:

    Yo no descartaría nada en este momento.

    Desde una perspectiva o punto de vista distinto, fíjate que, actualmente, no hay duda alguna de que los títulos serán otorgados. En realidad, la única pregunta es cuánto costará el título, si algo; queriendo decir “quizás nada.”

    Debes examinar las particularidades de la propiedad y del negocio que te están proponiendo con un abogado de tu elección, y entonces podrás tomar una decisión informada.

    Muchos saludos,

    Santiago F. Lampón

  8. July 17, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    Dear Kathy:

    The funny thing is that, if there is a public policy, it remains unknown to the majority of us. Moreover, there is no set or known formula for the computation of prices.

    What we do have is applicable law which I hope I can expand more in this blog in the coming days. In any event, the law is not enough, because the history of each lot is extremely important in order to reach a reasonable opinion on how to proceed.

    What I will do, is create a post under this category providing more information. I should be able to do this in the near future.

    To close, we can post one such letter as you suggest. All we need is the letter and the authorization to post it. We could always remove or blackout any sensitive information.

    Santiago F. Lampón

    ESPAÑOL

    Estimada Kathy:

    Lo graciosos es que no hay política pública aplicable a esta situación. Es más, la fórmula que podría estar siendo utilizada no es completamente conocida.

    Lo que si existe es el derecho aplicable, sobre el cual espero que pueda expandir en los próximos días. De todas formas, la ley no es suficiente ya que la historia de cada lote es extremadamente importante para poder llegar a una opinión razonable sobre como se debe proceder en cada caso.

    Lo que anticipo que podré hacer, es crear una categoría sobre este tema para proveer más información. Espero poder hacerlo pronto.

    Para cerrar, podemos hacer pública una carta como sugieres. Todo lo que necesitamos es la carta y la autorización a publicarla. Siempre podemos ennegrecer cualquier información sensitiva.

    Muchos saludos,

    Santiago F. Lampón

  9. TD
    July 18, 2007 at 4:56 am

    Mr. Lampón:

    Are the elements for adverse possession in PR identical to those in the upper 50; i.e., the possession must be 1) open; 2) continuous; 3) exclusive; 4) actual; and 5) notorious?

    As an interested investor I can’t seem to understand wherein the problem lies with titling realty. Is it a problem of governmental bureaucracy; or a problem compounded by the absence of effective and expeditious titling companies doing business on Vieques and Culebra? Do you have citations for any law review or law journals articles on point?

    Most Appreciatively,

    TD

  10. July 19, 2007 at 3:39 am

    Dear TD:

    Thank you for your post.

    I could not answer with absolute certainty, since I am not privy to the requirements in other states. Nonetheless, using as a reference your post, the requirements in Puerto Rico seem very similar to what you wrote.

    As I write this post, I do not have the citations you mention, though I have a series of opinions by the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico, our highest constitutional court, which thoroughly discuss the applicable law.

    In that regards I want to point out, that in Puerto Rico there are variants or modalities of the adverse possession doctrine. That is why you keep noticing my comments on conducting an evaluation in order to determine which the options available to you or anyone else are. It is a case-by-case analysis.

    I believe it is a combination of factors. Bureaucracy is an issue which is not limited to the municipality. You also have the registry, the courts, and, well, the registry and the courts to deal with.

    It can get complicated, but it can be handled with the adequate level of dedication and intention.

    You do have a point there regarding the absence of “expeditious titling companies.” We like to think that we fit the mold as a law firm, but then there is that thing called, ehhhh, what is it (?) …ah, bureaucracy. We handle that by not adding “time” to the equation, and by pushing as hard as we can to get the final product done.

    Best regards,

    Santiago F. Lampón

    ESPAÑOL

    Gracias por su mensaje!

    No puedo contestar su pregunta con certeza, ya que no tengo conocimiento de los requisitos aplicables en otros estados. Ahora bien, usando como referencia lo que usted escribió, los requisitos de Puerto Rico son muy similares a los que usted escribió.

    Al momento de escribir este mensaje, no tengo las citas que menciona, pero tengo una serie de opiniones del Tribunal Supremo de Puerto Rico, nuestro tribunal más alto, las cuales discuten ampliamente el derecho aplicable en este tema.

    En ese sentido si deseo señalar, que en Puerto Rico hay varias modalidades de la posesión adversa. Por eso es que continuará notando mis comentarios sobre la necesidad de hacer una evaluación para poder establecer cuál es la opción u opciones disponibles a usted o a cualquier otra persona. Es un análisis caso a caso.

    También pienso que es una combinación de factores. La burocracia es una preocupación que no está limitada al Municipio. También tienes que considerar el registro, los tribunales y, pues, el registro y los tribunales.

    Puede ser complicado, pero se puede manejar con el nivel adecuado de dedicación e intención.

    Si tiene un buen punto con respecto a la ausencia de compañías de título que sean rápidas. Nosotros queremos pensar que cumplimos con esa descripción, pero siempre está esa cosa, esa cosa llamada, eh (¿?)…ah, “burocracia.” Nosotros manejamos eso al no “añadirle tiempo” a la ecuación, y empujando tan fuerte como podamos para que se logre el resultado deseado.

    Muchos saludos,

    Santiago F. Lampón

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