Tribunal declares property titles in Bay of the Eagles null and void
SD. The judge of the Eighth Chamber of the Land Tribunal of the Original Jurisdiction of the National District, Alba Beard Marcos, declared the annotated record charts, the measurements, and the certificates of property titles issued in favor of private individuals on thousands of square meters of land at the Bay of the Eagles (Bahia de las Aguilas) to be without any judicial value or effect.
She considered that in this case there was a concert of willful intentions to fraudulently appropriate millions of square meters of land on the coastline in order to obtain economic advantages.
In a 300 page sentence, where the reading of an extract took more than four hours, she declared the property titles to be null and void.
She rejected acceptance of the dismissal of the action that sought to annul the registered rights and the penal persecution, presented in August 2004 by then Attorney General of the Republic, Victor Cespedes Martinez, and the State Lawyer, Elpidio Ramirez. The judge said that the correspondence numbered 107 – 90, through which a settlement in parcel 215 – A was carried out by the former director of the Dominican Agrarian Institute (IAD), Jaime Rodriguez Guzmán, in December 1995, lacks validity and judicial effect, and “therefore it should be canceled.” Likewise, she said that upon looking at Letter 23, addressed by Mister Rodriguez Guzmán to the administrator of National Assets, it can be verified that the motive for which the then-official’s request for the transfer order of the land to IAD, “are totally different from those contained in the correspondence numbered 107 – 90.” The judge specifies that the official supported the request of the distribution of the land and the poor families, “because it is of great interest for the agrarian reform,” saying that the IAD was carrying out the work to make an important settlement of the agrarian reform. She said that as a result of this, the then director general of National Assets, Carlos Eligio Linares, sent the correspondence #433 to the Registrar of Deeds of Barahona on 5 February 1996.
The tribunal says that it was able to prove that by making this request he procured “to give the appearance of state wishes” to the process, since these types of acts can only be carried out if they are authorized by the President of the Republic, which in this case did not occur.
The judge feels that by doing what was done, does not justify in legal terms the transfer that was ordered, given that in order to transfer to any deed of what were property assets of the State there are mechanisms established by the legislator, whose failure to comply invalidates the action.
“So that in this sense, in order to be able to arrange for this property to be transferred to the Dominican Agrarian Institute or any other entity of public or private law, the director of National Assets had to have received a special power from the Executive Power, in compliance with article 17 of Law 1832 from 1948, which instructs the Director General of National Assets, and establishes: “the director of National Assets will order and sign the contracts for the use and lease of the assets of the State, as well as those acts or contracts of acquisition or transfer of state property according to the instructions and powers that he receives from the President of the Republic”. She says that having ordered the transfer of 15,000 “tareas” without any other process or condition, “it is obvious that they were dealing with a donation, which is prohibited by article 17 of the law cited.”(A ‘tarea’ is the traditional measure of land in the DR and is equal to 629 square meters)
The judge decreed that the transfers carried out by Candido Vasquez Vargas and Mayra Feliz and later communications issued by Jaime Rodriguez Guzmán, do not allow a director of the IAD to repeal the disposition rights on rights registered in favor of the Dominican State by simple letters and orders for transfers, without having first complied with what is established in article 4 paragraph C of Law 7859 regarding the Agrarian Reform.
This article establishes that the Executive Power must previously receive a request for the properties that are necessary for the development of the projects of Agrarian Reform. She says that having ordered transfers and the emission of the annotated record charts, they worked without consultation and without previously having obtained the transfer of Parcel 215 – A to the IAD, in order to get it for themselves. She indicates that for the director general of National Assets to be able to acquire and transfer assets, he must first receive instructions from the President.
Defense of property owners reject the decision
The lawyers that represent the people who have property deeds in the Bay of Eagles rejected the decision issued by the tribunal.
“The plaintiffs never established bad faith,” said lawyer Natanael Mendez Matos.
For his part, lawyer Victor Santana Polanco said that the judge used a certification that in her own sentence she rejected, this qualified, and then used it to allege that there existed an opposition to the measurements and transfers.
“In addition, she annulled rights in a general manner, without identifying, one by one, the rights of the property owners.”
Other representatives of the defendants said that the sentence does not stand up by itself, alleging that the “fraud was never proved.”
He indicated that the judge’s supplied the evidence based on the presumption of what the plaintiffs wanted.
The lawyers criticized the argument of the magistrate, who referred in his sentence to efforts made in periods that covered months were done in 24 or 48 hours.
They said that the judge should have established in just what these irregularities consisted.
Attorney General of the Republic and District Attorney applaud decision
The Attorney General of the Republic, Francisco Dominguez Brito, and the District Attorney of the National District, Yeni Berenice Reynoso, applauded the decision of the judge in the case of the Bay of Eagles (Bahia de las Aguilas).
The meeting is Brito said that they are dealing with a transcendental decision. “No matter what, the most important thing for us is that all this passes to the Dominican state and in it near future all this can be developed for the good of this community.”
Likewise, he mentioned that the South can have a new tourist poll, as important as those of the East and North and that will bring development, wealth, and do away with the misery. At the same time Reynoso said that they are dealing with the largest property fraud that has been committed against the state.
Likewise she said the decision not only has the annulment as a consequence, but also it establishes in a clear manner a concert of wills to defraud the state.
“From that point on we have insisted on reiterated locations that in this process there are many people that have never been the object of procedures and the sentence puts into evidence that they should be processed in court.”
Category: DR News |