News-Star: Opinion

Your Letters: Michelle Ball for clerk of court

Ball for clerk of court

A few years ago, I faced a real estate matter: An out-of-state heir had approached a neighboring landowner offering to sell him her family’s property. Since the neighboring landowner was a friend who knew the land she was referring to was my property, he called and informed me of the situation. I requested her contact information, and I immediately called and spoke with the lady.

After much discussion, we realized that the deed a long-deceased Selma attorney had prepared for her dad did indeed describe my tract of land. She hired a local attorney to represent her and insisted that she owned and could sell the property, which I had owned for more than 10 years.

I visited and discussed the matter with Bob Spence Jr., who assigned the matter to his assistant, Michelle Ball. I met briefly and explained my position and the pending legal matter regarding the tract in question. Both deeds referred to an old railroad right-of-way and a tributary to Bawdy Swamp.

Within one week, Michelle contacted me and told me she had discovered the problem. She asked me to visit Bob’s office to allow her to explain the situation. I invited the lady and her attorney to accompany me for the explanation.

Michelle laid out an enormous amount of paperwork showing old deeds and plats from many years ago and explained how deed references in those days did not always reference permanent markers. She had discovered that the lady’s family had once owned a much larger tract and had found that the heir property was actually just under a mile from where the heirs had always been told it was located. No one in the heirs’ immediate families had ever even seen the property, which had been handed down for more than two generations.

The heirs and I were very impressed with the depth of Michelle’s work and her dedication to her job. We were able to resolve the issue, and amazingly enough, the location of the heir property was next to another tract that I owned jointly with a friend. We purchased the tract, and the heirs were extremely satisfied with how it all ended.

On many occasions after that, I have used the services of Bob Spence Jr. and have always requested that he allow Michelle Ball to work on my projects.

Because of Michelle’s manner and professional attitude, the property heirs and I were able to come together and resolve our differences, avoiding a possibly ugly legal case. Those attributes and others that I have come to respect about Michelle are why I am supporting her for clerk of court in the November election.

Although many of my friends practice law and I respect them immensely, there are times when a different perspective is needed to resolve an issue. When a clerk of court becomes involved in a situation where neighbors or family members are at odds, there are most always attorneys representing both sides of the issue. It would seem to me that someone who can look at the issue from the average person’s viewpoint could reach a more readily acceptable resolution to any problem involving John Q. Public.

For me, the choice could not be clearer. Please place your trust and confidence in this young lady to be our next clerk of court for Johnston County.

Dicky Braswell

Princeton

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