Real Property 7: Adverse Possession
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What is the basic concept behind ADVERSE POSSESSION?
Possession, for a statutorily prescribed priod of time can, if certain elements are met, ripen into title.
What are the ELEMENTS of adverse possession?
For possession to ripe into title, it must be:
- Continuous: uninterrupted for the statutory period
- (NY: 10 years)
Open and Notorious: the sort of possession the usual owner would make under the circumstances
Actual: entry must be literal
Hostile: possessor doesn't have the true owner's consent to be there
What must the possessor's state of mind be for adverse possession to occur?
MBE: Possessor's subjective state of mind is irrelevant.
NY: Possessor must have a GOOD FAITH BELIEF (albeit a mistaken one) that the land he is occupying is his. It is considered BAD FAITH (and an impediment to a successful adverse possession claim) for the claimant to know that he is occupying another's land.
What is TACKING? When may it occur?
One adverse possessor may tack on to his time with the land his precedessor's time, so long as there is PRIVITY, which is satisfied by any NONHOSTILE nexus, such as blood, contract, deed, or will.
Tacking is NOT allowed when there has been an ouster.
How does an owner's DISABILITIES affect adverse possession?
The statute of limitations will NOT run against a true owner who is afflicted by a disability at the START of the adverse possession.
Common disabilities include: insanity, infancy, and imprisonment.
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