Former judge gets part of neighbor’s land |

Former judge gets part of neighbor’s land

BOULDER, Colorado ” More than 200 people protested outside the home of a couple who added more than 1,400 square feet of their neighbors’ land to their own property using a centuries-old legal doctrine.

Some protesters carried signs Sunday outside the home of Richard McLean and Edith Stevens that read, “You’ll never enjoy a stolen view.” Others yelled “shame” and “thief.”

At issue is a 55 foot by 80 foot lot Don and Susie Kirlin bought in 1984 for a future dream home with mountain views.

After the Kirlins tried to build a fence on the property line last year, McLean and Stevens sought a temporary restraining order, then sued the Kirlins under the principle of “adverse possession.” That gives a person title to someone’s land if that person has used the land for a certain amount of time with no challenge by the owner.

McLean, a former district court judge and former Boulder mayor, and Stevens said they had used the Kirlins’ land to get to their patio for 25 years with no protest. The Kirlins said they didn’t know their neighbors had been trespassing on their land.

A judge last month awarded McLean and Stevens about one-third of the Kirlins’ lot. The Kirlins said they plan to appeal.

The case has drawn complaints from radio commenters, columnists and bloggers, who helped spread word of the rally. The Kirlins attended the protest but said they did not organize it.

Support Local Journalism