Francis Hollis moved into in his Leland mobile home in 1973, on a piece of land he says was given to him by his grandfather. He lived there for 25 years, before moving with his wife Jennifer to Eden, North Carolina. They kept the home in Leland to use for vacations, so you can imagine their surprise when they came to visit a few years ago, and found that the North Brunswick Sanitary District had built a sewage pump station in their front yard. Then, they returned a couple years later to find their entire home, and everything in it, was gone. "It's a nightmare. It is a nightmare. My husband at the time, he couldn't believe it, I mean, we both sat down and cried,” said Jennifer Hollis Ussery. Jennifer Hollis Ussery is still trying to make sense of what happened. It's easily one of the strangest stories we've ever come across. After some extensive research at the Register of Deeds office, we learned the North Brunswick Sanitary District bought a piece of land across the street from the Hollis' home, on Lincoln School Road. In what appears to be a mix-up, the North Brunswick Sanitary District built the pump station on what may be wrong side of the street based on property records, and put it directly in front of the Hollis' home. Complicating matters further, there's now a dispute over who actually owns the land where the pump station was built. Jennifer's ex-husband Francis Hollis says the land was deeded to him by his late grandfather. Francis' uncle, Ezra Dale, claims the land belongs to him. Mr. Dale actually sold it to the North Brunswick Sanitary District. "I don't know why my so-called uncle wants this little piece of dirt right here with all the land he's got in Brunswick County. Unless it's just greed,” Francis said. Repeated calls to Mr. Dale for comment were not returned. Francis says the deed for the land in question was inside the home that was removed from the lot in 2006, and records from the Register of Deeds office as to who owns the half-acre lot are unclear. Tax records show the Hollises have been paying taxes on the property for years. Even without paperwork proving ownership, the Hollises' attorney says the land would have become rightfully theirs after decades of living on it under squatters’ rights laws. Other attorneys we consulted say it's not uncommon for there to be confusion over owns a piece of property. Sometimes, a judge has to decide who is the rightful owner, and other times a title insurance company will choose to pay a settlement to satisfy all the parties involved in a land dispute We've been trying to get an explanation from the North Brunswick Sanitary District for over a week, as to why the pump station was apparently built on the wrong side of the road. So far, we haven't gotten an answer. As for their mobile home that was destroyed along with everything in it, the Hollises' say that was their uncle Ezra Dale's doing. The Hollises' attorney says he filed a lawsuit against him today. He is preparing to file another lawsuit next week against the North Brunswick Sanitary District for building the sewage pump station in the front yard.
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