The Legal Battle Over This Downtown Tempe Property Goes Back 130 Years

By Steve Goldstein
Published: Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - 1:06pm
Updated: Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - 3:39pm

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Tempe Steve Sussex squatter property
Jean Clare Sarmiento/KJZZ
The property neat First Street and Farmer Avenue in Tempe.

Tempe resident Steve Sussex has been locked in a battle with the city over a land dispute that stretches back more than 130 years.

Sussex’s great-grandfather purchased a home in Tempe around 1890. Due to some archaic state and federal land policies, his family’s ownership of the land has come under question.

The land is now estimated to be worth more than $1 million and is surrounded by valuable, developed properties.

The state claimed ownership in 2010, and last month the state Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from Sussex on an earlier ruling that ordered him off of the property.

To learn more The Show spoke with Sussex’s attorney Jack Wilenchik.

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