Remember the case of the whole family who died recently, one by one, over a period of several years? The father, Mike Nicklin, was a sociopath, the mother Joanne Herbert, an abuse victim trapped with Mike, probably had to go along, and their son Matthias, in his early 20s, was an innocent victim, found dead in his car of a fentanyl overdose last year in San Francisco.
(This is another lesson about being nice, helping out others, and paying the price; like the saying goes “No good deed goes unpunished.”)
So Mike approaches this guy Joe about 30 years ago, asks to drive through his property to bring in supplies to build his house, and says he’ll build a road and a bridge over China Creek and come up the other way the next year, through which he has legal access. (Of course I advised Joe not to let Mike drive through, but he’s an innocent do-gooder and feels compelled to help others.)
Mike hauls the lumber past Joe’s house, builds his house, keeps driving through, and when Joe asks him to stop he refuses, threatens him with violence, and continues to drive through for a few more decades. Not being a tough guy and afraid of the sociopath, Joe stops confronting the trespasser, just lives with it, and whenever Mike or his associates drive by, he feels stressed. (Mike had an indoor weed grow which he ran for years in the winter and spent the summers in the house he bought in Puerto Escondido, or maybe it was the other way around.)
So then the family dies, the house is abandoned, and finally there’s no more traffic, problem solved? No, the gift of kindness keeps on giving: Joanne’s brother Jack, a lawyer in New Jersey, inherits the house and land and sues for an easement. Joe joins the fray, gets some free legal help, wades through the paperwork for awhile, then gives up and signs a notice of default. He doesn’t have any money for a legal battle and doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life, he’s in his late 70s, fighting this guy in court, though he would probably win.
What will happen next? Jack will probably get access, try to sell the land and house (a large two-story needing lots of work), and if he does manage to sell the shady, North-facing property in the middle of nowhere, where you need to pump up water, who will be the new owner?
Since weed is over, maybe it will end up being a nice neighbor. Well, that’s what Joe is hoping for.