Woman tries to claim home with 'adverse possession' law - FOX 13 News

Woman arrested after trying to claim home with 'adverse possession' law

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Imagine somebody breaking into your house while you're away, and then you find them living inside.

It happened to Sharon Bond of Riverview. Her home was in pre-foreclosure and she had moved out, but was working with the bank to save it when Jeanella Pollock moved in over the summer.

Bond told the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, and on July 26th, Pollock and her family were forced to move out.

Bond said it wasn't easy to get them out.

"They were very defiant. ‘What are you taking about? This is not your house,' they said, acting like they owned it," Bond said.

Pollock did, in fact, act as if she owned it, according to sheriff's detectives. She hired a locksmith to change the locks, hooked up power and water, and filed paperwork with the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser's Office claiming adverse possession.

"The current economic times have created these vacant houses, and folks have twisted the law and almost an urban legend has been created as to what adverse possession really means," says Will Shepherd, an attorney with the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser's Office.

Shepherd says the law is more than 100 years old, and was intended for vacant property nobody wanted -- not residential homes.

"It was meant for either farm land, or in Florida, swamp land that somebody up north bought and long abandoned," he said.

Under the law, after seven years, somebody can apply for title and maybe a judge would grant them ownership. But when Pollock sees a judge, it will be to answer charges of burglary and grand theft.

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