How those deeds got dirty...

Thursday, March 07, 2013

How those deeds got dirty...

...and why the Village of Westhampton Beach had to defend itself against the Great Hazelwood Avenue Land Grab of '96-'97, according to documents filed with New York State Supreme Court in the matter of...

east end concrete & stone products, inc.
d/b/a east end ready mix, Plaintiff,

-against-

josephine carnevale, j.r.c. land company, llc,
speonk materials corp.,
village of westhampton beach,
Defendants.

...Index No.: 07-03231, Justice Melvyn Tanenbaum, presiding.

Documents from that court proceeding, some of which were relied upon by the Bar Association's Second Judicial Department Grievance Committee in sustaining all three charges of professional misconduct leveled against former Carnevale Attorney James N. Hulme in an "Opinion and Order" issued January 9, 2013, reveal what occurred.

Quoting from one filing...

Defendants Josephine Carnevale, J.R.C. Land Company, LLC, and Speonk Materials Corp. prepared and executed and recorded a series of 'correction deeds' between October 28th, 1997, and June 26th, 1998 in an attempt to lawfully and fraudulently acquire, convey, and obtain title to that portion of the premises owned by the Village of Westhampton Beach.

Those familiar with the fourth book of Gulliver's Travels: A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms, may recognize elements of satirist Jonathan Swift's explaination of how the course and filthy Yahoo peoples acquire a neighbor's cow by hiring a lawyer to go to court and claim the neighbor stole the cow from him in the first place.

Westhampton Beach had owned the section of Hazelwood Avenue in question since 1931, acquiring it through deeds conveying fee title to the Village for a public and govern­ment­al purpose, i.e. providing public access to all of the parcels located on Hazelwood Avenue from Montauk Highway north to the Long Island Rail Road.

For over 65 years this ownership was never in dispute.

Then came the "devious attempt to acquire ownership in one-half of Hazelwood Avenue" by filing a series of "so-called 'correction deeds,'" between 1997 and 1998.

The documents, three in all dated 28 October 1997, 31 October 1997 and 26 June 1998, were all prepared by the law firm of Kelly & Hulme, and notarized by staff there or, in once instance, then partner Augustus Kelly.

(In essence: "Oops, previous deeds forgot to include certain property we've since remembered is ours.")

These filings were futile attempts to seize title to Hazelwood Avenue simply by changing the description of the Carnevale parcel to include one-half of the street as an "addition" to property which had been previously conveyed.

Fiendish in its simplicity and Swiftian in its execution... just find a lawyer to take the money and do the "dirty deed."

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