Senior Berkley resident says builder took down fence she paid for in 1970

Sue Thornby has lived in home for over 50 years

BERKLEY, Mich. – A Berkley resident who has lived in her home for over 50 years said a builder is taking down a fence that she paid to put up in 1970.

Sue Thornby said the fence outside her home in the 2300 block of Oakshire Avenue might have been over her lot line by a few inches, but a Michigan law called adverse possession says that if someone has taken care of a section of land, fence or building for over 15 years, it is theirs to claim.

Thornby said the builder didn't try to work anything out with her. She said she heard noise outside her home on Friday, and when she looked outside, her fence was laying on the ground. The builder is lying cement to widen the driveway to where the fence used to be.

Police told Thornby that they couldn't do anything because the incident is a civil matter. Thornby said the builder planned to take down the fence on Veterans Day because city hall and the courts are closed. She said there's no way to get an emergency stop-work order.

Sign up for ClickOnDetroit Email Newsletters (click here) for more stories like this.

About the Authors: