Neighbors accuse 3 of squatting

By Neki Mohan - Anchor/Reporter

MIRAMAR, Fla. - Police arrested three men who neighbors said were squatting in Miramar's Silver Falls neighborhood.

Neil Kumar told Local 10's Neki Mohan two men showed up outside his home April 24 and told him and his family they needed to leave.

"They started banging the door," he said.

The men claimed they owned the home by adverse possession and had the paper work to prove it. 

Adverse possession allows the applicant to get the title to an abandoned home if they live in it for seven years, paying all taxes, utilities, and liens on the property. Adverse possession is civil matter, not a criminal matter, leaving police officers little recourse.

"He showed me the document and said I live here and he asked me to vacate the  house," Kumar explained.

The men showed Kumar a notarized document claiming that they had been living at his address since March. He has lived in the house for two years.

So Kumar called the police.

The officer escorted the men out of the community, but arrested them for several offenses when they tried to get back in a few days later.

Police arrested 34-yearold Jason Banton, 34-year-old Dordy Dolcine, and 22-year-old Cleophus Huffman.

The Silver Falls Homeowner's Association hired Miramar Police officers to work 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. to help keep the men from returning to the development, but it is costing them thousands of dollars.

Resident Gary Cedeno said he couldn't believe it happened.

"We would expect that you buy a home, you are secure in your home, you are paying your taxes, and yet someone could pound your door and say get out of my house?" said Cedeno.

Lori Parrish at the Broward County Property Appraiser's Office said there are currently more than 30 homes in the county listed as adverse possessions. Parrish told Local 10 that until laws in Tallahassee are changed, these adverse possession claims will continue.

Other neighbors claimed the same men have knocked on their doors as well, and there are terrified of what could happen.

Even though Neil Kumar can prove he owns his house and is up to date on all his payments he is nervous, so much so, he says they never leave their house unoccupied.

"Someone always stays at home. If I go out, my wife stays at home," he said.

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