Adverse Possession Q

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Adverse Possession Q

Postby mbutterfly » Fri Nov 26, 2010 7:42 pm

When does the clock begin in regards to Adverse Possession?

Sources say the clock begins to tick at either: 1) at adverse possessor's entry (when true owner has COA against trespasser) or 2) when all 5 elements of AP are met.

I understand that they may be the same thing, but couldn't someone enter land (thus give true owner cause of action for ejectment/trespass) and still not be actual or notorious?

For example, a person might come across a plot of land, spend a week there hidden in the trees trying to figure out what to do with the land, and then a week from initial entry, begin building a cabin.
Or what if, while building the cabin, he doesn't really make any progress on it, so he lives hidden in the trees for another month.

When would the duration (i.e. 10 years) begin? At initial entry or when the point when AP becomes actual, notorious, open, hostile, exclusive?

Thank you in advance for any help!

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Re: Adverse Possession Q

Postby GeePee » Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:28 pm

Consider that the clock resets any time the 5 elements are broken, and you have your answer. You need to last the 10 years with all elements of AP met -- think about how little sense it would make to possess a piece of property non-notoriously for 9 years and 364 days and then erect a structure on the property afterward.

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Re: Adverse Possession Q

Postby joobacca » Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:32 pm

Not sure. Maybe you're going to deep for exam purposes, but I think the clock ticks when you have actual, open/notorious, continuous/exclusive, hostile possession. and there was something about using as a normal/prudent/reasonable owner would use the type of land being adversely possessed (which is a good area to throw in arguments) that qualifies the continuous crap.

also, there can be tacking. and also if you're adversely possessing a life estate, then when that interest holder dies, (I THINK) you have to start this process over against the future interest holder who now has a present possessory interest.

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Re: Adverse Possession Q

Postby NoleinNY » Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:48 pm

You need all the elements to be met, as was said. As for this:

Or what if, while building the cabin, he doesn't really make any progress on it, so he lives hidden in the trees for another month.

It may still be sufficient, depending on the details. Did the person bring the necessary materials? What did he do? Digging some holes and leaving the building materials there may qualify even if the possessor stops work and contemplates what to do; the subjective intent of the APer is not relevant in most jurisdictions.

Would it appear to someone who sees the spot for the cabin that this trespasser was acting as an owner would?

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