“Sidewalk to nowhere” property dispute – moves to Fourth Judicial Circuit Court

Submitted by

View of disputed property
Disputed property

Susan Hardee Steger

City Attorney Tammi Bach filed a “Complaint to Quiet Title” in the Circuit Court of the Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida on behalf of the City of Fernandina Beach.   The complaint was filed almost 90 days after attorney for Salty Pelican Bar & Grill  Mike Mullin issued a letter requesting the City take action. (Click for previous story)

As previously reported in “City of Fernandina Beach – Legal Briefs:

“Title to the land between the railroad tracks and platted private property north of Centre Street is not clear. The city this week is filing a quiet title action in court seeking a determination of ownership of what could be a public sidewalk running from Centre Street alongside the Duryee Building to the Salty Pelican restaurant.  This matter has been in the City Manager’s office since mid-January, as informal efforts to resolve the dispute have been explored.  It will probably take several months to receive a legal ruling from the judge in this matter.”

A portion of the complaint follows:

Complaint to Quiet Title

COMES NOW, the Plaintiff, City of Fernandina Beach, Florida, a political subdivision of the State of Florida (“City”), by and through the undersigned attorney, and files this Complain to Quiet Title against the Defendant, PATRICIA C. TOUNDAS, as individual, named herein and all persons unknown claiming any right, title, estate, lien or interest in the real property described herein adverse to plaintiff’s title, and for a cause of action alleges:

1.  Plaintiff is a municipal corporation and political subdivision of the State of Florida located in Nassau County, Florida.

2.  Plaintiff owns public right-of-way expected from a vacation of right-of-way except from a vacation of right-of-way ordinance and specifically described as a “ten foot wide driveway paralleling the westerly sidewalk line of Lots 1,2,3, and 4 of Block No. 1 of said City “and located in Nassau County Florida and further legally described in Exhibit “A” attached hereto, by virtue of City of Fernandina Beach Ordinance 258 recorded in Official Records Book 668, page 1704-1705 of the public records of Nassau County, Florida.

3.  Defendant, PATRICIA C. TOUNDAS, may also claim some interest and estate is said property adverse to Plaintiff by virtue of the language of City of Fernandina Beach Ordinance 258 and legal opinions of Attorney Clyde W. Davis, former City Attorney of Fernandina Beach, attached hereto as Exhibit “B”.  The Plaintiff respectfully disagrees with Mr. Davis’ opinions, Defendant’s claim is without any right whatever, and Defendant has no right, estate, title, lien, or interest in or to the property, or any part thereof.

4.  Defendant, PATRICIA C. TOUNDAS,  may also claim some interest and estate in said property adverse to Plaintiff by virtue of an Easement Deed and Release dated July 7, 1959 recorded in Official Deed Book 273, Pages 89-93 of the public records of Nassau County, Florida attached hereto as Exhibit “C”, and the grantee’s division engineer’s drawing No. F-78, dated 12/22/55 attached hereto Exhibit “D”.

5.  This quiet title action is specifically addressing property lying west of Lots 1,2,3 and 4 of Block 1 of said City according to the official plat of the City (as lithographed and issued by the Florida Railroad Company in 1957 and revised, enlarged and reissued by the Florida Town Improvement Company in 1887 and 1901),  and the 1887 and 1901 plats of the City are attached hereto as Exhibits “E” and “F” respectively showing Front Street as a public right-of-way.

WHEREFORE, plaintiff prays:

1.  The Defendant and all persons claiming under her are required to set forth the nature of their claims to said real property;

2.  That all adverse claims to said real property be determined by a decree of this Court:

3.  That said decree declare and adjudge that Plaintiff owns in fee simple as public right-of-way, and is entitled to the peaceful possession of, said real property, and that Defendant and all persons claiming under them, have no estate, right, title, lien, or interest in or to said real property or any part thereof;

4.  That said decree permanently enjoins Defendants, and all persons claiming under them, from asserting any adverse claim to Plantiff’s title to said property, and

5. For such other and further relief as the court deems just and proper.

Signed by Tammi E. Bach, City Attorney, March 18, 2013

Editor’s Note:  Due to the length of the complaint, exhibits are not included.  If any of our readers wish to receive the entire complaint, please contact [email protected]

March 18, 2013  8:33 p.m.

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Marlene Chapman
Marlene Chapman(@crew2120)
9 years ago

And here we go again! How many months has this been going on? Should we say years? The rhetoric is old and the claims are worn. I know that rules and laws have to be observed and followed but time is of the essence also as people’s rights to traverse sidewalks and get to the Salty Pelican safely have been put aside for far too long.
Keep pushing and demanding it get done sooner than later and this can all be put to rest once and for all.