Reports indicate a South Carolina family has agreed to a settlement following a countersuit against a real estate developer. They aimed to retain ownership of the ancestral land they had owned since the aftermath of the Civil War.

Josephine Wright, the family’s matriarch, resided on the property for over three decades. She shared much of this with her husband, attorney Samuel Wright, until his passing in 1998.

Advocating for Her Heirs’ Rights

Wright passed away in January, but not before staunchly advocating for preserving the family’s land for future generations. She was determined to guarantee that her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren could continue to gather on their ancestral property.

The property has held significant significance for Wright’s late husband’s family since the conclusion of the Civil War. According to South Carolina Public Radio, a formerly enslaved individual who had gained freedom acquired the property.

When Did the Conflict Start?

The land dispute commenced when developer Bailey Point Investment acquired the adjacent and surrounding lands of Wright’s 1.8-acre property. 

The company is developing a subdivision comprising 147 homes in the area. At one point, it extended an offer to purchase Wright’s property for $39,000. 

The acquisition happened in 2014, but Bailey Point Investment only started its developments in 2022. The latter worked both around and on her property. 

They cut down trees, and their work caused dust to cover Wright’s car and house. She also noted that someone flattened her tires, and a snake was hanging from a window.

Bailey Point’s Alleged Intimidation Tactics

The homeowner alleged that the developer employed intimidation tactics to coerce her into selling. 

In February 2023, Bailey Point Investment filed a lawsuit against Wright. The latter claimed that Wright’s screened-in porch, shed, and satellite dish were causing a nuisance. Furthermore, they added that these things depreciated property values and hindered their plans.

Wright enlisted the services of a civil rights attorney and filed a countersuit. In her legal action, Wright stated that the developer employed “a consistent and constant barrage of tactics of intimidation, harassment, and trespass” in their efforts to acquire her property.

Outpouring Support from the Community

In May 2023, Wright’s granddaughter initiated a GoFundMe campaign to assist with her legal expenses, establishing a goal of $350,000. 

Contributions flooded in, and the family amassed almost $368,000 in funds. They garnered backing from local community members and celebrities like Snoop Dogg, who contributed $10,000.

Tyler Perry also arranged to construct a five-bedroom home for her, per family spokesperson Altimese Nichole. According to South Carolina Public Radio, Perry’s team has obtained all necessary permits and is awaiting a county inspection. 

According to the outlet, the family intends to create a foundation in honor of their matriarch. The endeavor aims to provide families with resources and education on land preservation.

The Settlement Reached

According to a family spokesperson, Altimese Nichole, they have now settled. Hence, they require Bailey Point Investment, LLC, to cease all communication with the family regarding the land

Additionally, they obliged the company to repair the roof, install a privacy fence, and provide landscaping. 

Wright shared with television station Fox 28 Savannah that her late husband consistently advocated for those without resources. She also saw her legal actions against Bailey Point Investment, LLC, as an opportunity to raise her voice.

I consider myself a very quiet person. I am not an arguer. This to me is new,” Wright said in an interview back in October.