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Terms in this set (13)
The doctrine of adverse possession allows a person in unlawful possession to acquire good title to a piece of property. Until the person acquires good title, the person is an owner
-title relates back to the date of the person's entry onto the property
-government property cannot be adversely possessed
Two basic rationales for the doctrine of adverse possession:
1) punishing the true owner for sleeping on her rights, and
2) Rewarding adverse possessor for earning good title
2) open and notorious
3) exclusive and
three phases of continuous
1) Entry phase: When the adverse possessor enters the land; required to trigger the applicable statute of limitations
2) End phase: When the statute of limitations runs out of time; now, the adverse possessor is the legal owner of the property by operation of law
3) Middle phase: When the adverse possessor makes use of the property, between the entry and end phases
If the adverse possessor cannot satisfy the continuity requirement on her own, she can tack on her predecessor's time on the property to satisfy the statute of limitations
-current adverse possessor must be in privity with the prior adverse possessor
The statute of limitations will not run against a true owner who has a disability at the time the adverse possession begins.
-infancy, imprisonment, insanity; disability must exist when the trespasser enters the property
A true owner can interrupt the adverse possession period by ejecting the adverse possessor.
-This will stop the adverse possession clock.
open and notorious
Use must be such that it would put a true owner on notice of the adverse use.
Possession must be adverse to the owner's interest.
hostile; state of mind
- Majority Rule: Does not inquire into the adverse possessor's state of mind
- Minority Rule: Inquires into the adverse possessor's state of mind
-Good Faith: Some jurisdictions require that the adverse possessor thinks the land is unowned or that she is the rightful owner. This is adverse possession based on a mistake.
Bad Faith: Other jurisdictions require that the adverse possessor tries to acquire title to the property by adverse possession. This is adverse possession based on an aggressive trespass
An adverse possessor cannot share possession with the true owner.
- If two people possess the property together, can they both acquire title by adverse possession? yes, they acquire title as tenants in common.
Constructive adverse possession:
Adverse possessor enters under color of title from an invalid instrument (e.g., fraudulent deed) and occupies a portion of the property described in the instrument.
-The adverse possessor is in actual possession of the occupied land and constructive possession of remaining land described in the deed.
scope of possession
Includes rights to sub-surface rights, unless those rights already belong to a third party
Easements can also be acquired by adverse possession (or prescription).
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