Introduction Joint tenancy refers to a situation whereby a group of two or more people hold title to a property. On the other hand, joint tenancy with rights of survivorship means that in case of one of the joint owner's death the surviving partner acquires the title to the property. For this case, Martin is the only surviving owner to the property as all the friends are now deceased.
When you bought the property under joint tenancy, it meant that all the four of you held title to the property. Your purchase included the right of survivorship which means that the surviving partners have already acquired the property's title by virtue of operation law. The surviving joint owner (who happens to be you Martin) holds the sole ownership of the property. Despite Peter's indication in his will that he left the property ownership to his son Andrew the right of survivorship grants you the sole ownership of the property (Edwards, 2001, p. 424). Andrew assumed ownership of the property after his father's death and his decision to secure a loan with the property as collateral is not justified meaning that the collateral was invalid. Foreclosing the property is illegal as Andrew in the first place has no legal right to the property's ownership. There is no way you could recourse Andrew on his interest in the property, the only option he has is by you ensuring that your friend's son does not get into trouble. That will be helping him in the settling of the loan in respect for Peter but not the ownership of the property should not have been used as collateral.
The adverse possession issue with Otis who claims to own the land after occupying it for 20 years now is insignificant considering the current situation. Otis claimed to have lived in the property for twenty years open and notoriously which would mean that the public must have noticed his occupation. His claim that he owned the property and has notoriously lived there for 20 years lacks a legal right. The notoriety living on the property never drew the attention of the owner or neighbors. The attention from the open and notorious adverse possessor puts the property owner on notice of possible loss of the property. This forces you to take action to recover the possession before it is too late (Turley, 2013, p. 966). None of the possessor's activity drew attention which means he could have been secretly living in the property granting him no legal right to own the property. You informed me that only the smoke drew your attention, and there was nothing open to reveal occupation of the land giving Otis no legal right to own the property.
Having being a sheriff would have been a good basis for kicking Otis out of the land by force especially after he proved hostile. However, the best way to deal with this situation is by legal means whereby your name and reputation remains clean. It is as well important to act as an example to the community who look up to people like you.
The beach house seems to have been affected by a private owner’s infamous term “condemnation." The government under the formal act is capable of exercising the power of eminent domain that I believe you know. The eminent domain has no limitations as the government can condemn intangible property as well for public use (Seiler, 2014, p. 141). That means the local authorities can condemn the beach house on the basis of developing the area under the Tar Heel Family Resort Program. This move is an economic development plan, and the court will most likely support the program. The best way to deal with the situation is by agreeing on a just payment or as the city attorneys claimed a full market value of the property.
On the valet case, you could sue the restaurant for poor security around the hotel. Benjamin who is claimed to have quit was in the property fully dressed as a valet, and no one noticed him. It is the management's sloppiness that caused you as a customer to lose your car. To prevent such cases from reoccurring to people with no idea of how the restaurant operates it is important that the stakeholders take a legal action towards the restaurant.
The claim by the man who the police caught in possession of your 1966 Pontiac GTO in a classic car Show is baseless. He broke the law by accepting exchange of a stolen car ignoring the obvious process of running the car plates through HPI check to prove that Benjamin was the legal owner of the car. Having no proof as well on the exchange he made for the car offers him no legal grounds to hold the car or demand refund from you to compensate for his car. The only thing that can happen is you helping him locate Benjamin and bring him to justice, and he might be lucky to recover his 1967 Mustang convertible.
It is unfortunate that you will have to lose your beach house. However, with just legal proceedings it is clear that you will save the joint ownership property. As the only remaining joint owner, you will be recognized as the sole owner of the property legally. As well, your car will be given back without paying the reimbursement fee the man in the position of your stolen car is claiming.
Edwards, L. L. (2001). Introduction to Paralegal Studies: A Practical Approach. Cengage
Seiler, M. J. (2014). Measuring the Impact of Eminent Domain Partial Takings: A Behavioral
Approach. International Real Estate Review, 17(2), 137-156.
Turley, J. (2013). Constitutional Adverse Possession: Recess Appointments and the Role of
Historical Practice in Constitutional Interpretation. Wis. L. Rev., 965.