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GOB Dealing with Many Legal Matters Related to Land

The Government is battling many legal wars in court as it pertains to land matters. Several persons whose land was sold by the pervious UDP Government are knocking on the door of the government and they are there to collect. And the amount is substantial. It’s in the tens of millions. Many of the matters remain before the court but some the government has managed to settled including a case that is over fifty years old. Lands Minister Cordel Hyde says the property owner was paid half a million dollars, and that’s just one of the many matters his ministry is dealing with. 

Cordel Hyde, Minister of Natural Resources, Petroleum and Mining: “That’s ongoing, mien. That takes up a lot of our time at the ministry. A lot of our time to wrestle with these cases because every single, not every day but almost every day somebody is coming out the woodwork. We just settled a case, 50 years old. Right? 50 years ago, like in 1972, the then Government acquired a piece of land from a lady who is now deceased from the Ladyville area to push through the road. Her family has spent all those decades trying to get compensation. They never did. We finally settled with a grandchild a few weeks ago and she’s what, she’s and that grandchild is probably 60. Right? So it’s, cases keep coming. Keep coming. Keep coming and we. It’s scary. The amounts of millions that people are demanding from us and in fact, right now the Government is engaged in trying to look critically at the law to see how we can amend it to kind of protect the Government from times when we make a simple mistake and not have to pay a market value for that. So, it’s lots of millions mien.”

Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: What was the settlement amount in that? 

Cordel Hyde, Minister of Natural Resources, Petroleum and Mining: “Mmm?”

Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: The settlement amount in that?

Cordel Hyde, Minister of Natural Resources, Petroleum and Mining: “I think it’s $500,000 or $550,000. 50 years ago, right? There you go and then because she, I think they wanted one point something million and we ended up getting them down to half a million dollars and that’s based on the evaluation that our Chief Valuer put it at. You know and it’s some incredible cases. I tell the story all the time of this case from down south where someone got 172 acres. The Government really didn’t have, like 130 of that was not Government’s, within Government’s power to let. They gave them to land. They probably paid like $56,000 for that even though they valued it at $100,000 at the time. They paid $56,000 because they had done some work for the Government or something. It turns out the land wasn’t for the Government. They’re suing the Government for $17 million. Right? So we have to be fighting that. It’s crazy mien.