Why the Beauperthuys of Saint-Martin have sprung into action

For years, the Beauperthuys of St-Martin/St Maarten have been challenged in the courts by other Beauperthuy heirs. How this battle was born: explanations.

Within the Beauperthuy family, two clans are facing off: the Beauperthuys of St. Martin/ St. Maarten, and the Beauperthuys of France, Canada, Guadeloupe, and Venezuela. Legal proceedings have been in progress since 1973, with the second clan requesting a redistribution of the family’s plots. This is what the first clan is opposing.

To understand the affair, we must go back to January 21, 1861, the day of the death of Pierre-Daniel Beauperthuy. He was the owner of a number of plots of land, mostly located in Orient Bay, French Quarter, and the Dutch part. He had notarized deeds, some of which dated in 1852 and 1854. He died without having organized his estate amongst his six children.


Through divestments, one of his grandchildren, Charles Daniel, became, in turn, the owner of some of these plots. In 1931 and 1932, he decided to sell them to his children, as well as to their mother. These lands were notably occupied by Louis-Ferdinand, Delano, Pierre, Ruben, and Sheila.

All seemed to be well until 1973 when the descendants of Pierre-Daniel's other children called upon Charles Daniel's children to redistribute the land. This is the clan from France, Canada, and Guadeloupe. "The French brought together a group of families unknown in Saint-Martin, who claim to be descended from Pierre Daniel Beauperthuy," commented the movement created last June to support the Saint-Martin branch (children of Charles Daniel).

In each of the legal cases, it was decreed that the plots being disputed by the two clans were, in fact, acquired by Pierre-Daniel. So they should also be considered to be assets in his estate. Yet the Appeals Court of Fort de France decreed on April 3, 1987, that the assets of said estate should be shared and sold at auction. This decision was upheld by the Court of Cassation on July 20, 1989. In other words, the plots that the Beauperthuys of Saint-Martin considered to be their own must be subject to new divisions and sold at auction.


In June 2015, the Court of Cassation confirmed that in absence of restitution in kind for the inherited plots, restitution will be due for the property value at the time of the distribution.

The conditions of this new distribution must be defined by the Regional Court of Basse-Terre, which it has recently done. The Beauperthuys announced that an administrator had been named and that one of the plots – number AW 59, the site of the former Boo Jam restaurant – must be sold at auction. The price was set at 340,000€.

The Saint-Martin branch denounced this decision and refused to see it applied. This is how it quickly drew the support of a number of individuals who came together within a movement, "Our Land Matters, we are St. Martin." The goal of this movement is to defend the rights of local families, so that lands belonging to Saint-Martin residents for decades, even for centuries, remain in their hands.

It should be noted that other plots have already been sold by the same administrator in 2007, 2011, and 2015.

A petition was put online in late July and has already gathered 1093 signatures to date.

Read also: Some of the Beauperthuy heirs demanded 11 M€ from the Collectivité  They claim €11 million in compensation.




Estelle Gasnet