You know that St. Louis husband-and-wife duo who threatened Black Lives Matter protesters like a couple of card-carrying Brooks Brothers Rewards Program Yosemite Sams? Jeremy Kohler of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the backstory on them, and it’s a doozy:
Mark McCloskey’s first taste of ownership may have been on his
20th birthday, in 1976. A card from his parents, Bruce and Lois
“Carol” McCloskey, would much later become an exhibit in a lawsuit
against his father and his father’s trust. The card said: “You are
now the sole & only owner of 5 acres of the Phelps County Farm.
Papers to follow. This is on the river — Luck! Happy Birthday!
Mom + Dad.” […]
In March 2013, in Phelps County, Mark McCloskey sued his father
and his father’s trust over the gift. The birthday card and earth,
he claimed, were sufficient title because they met the legal
definition of “livery of seisin,” a ceremony performed in medieval
England for the conveyance of land.
In 2016, a special judge ruled against him, writing that “Exhibit
1 attached to the petition is a birthday card, not a deed” and
that it was too late to claim ownership of part of the farm. The
archaic legal claim, the judge ruled “does not operate as a matter
of law to transfer title to real property.”
“This is a birthday card, not a deed” is the best real-life version of “Sir, this is a Wendy’s drive-through” I’ve ever heard.