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Adverse Possession Outline

Law Outlines > Property I Outlines

This is an extract of our Adverse Possession document, which we sell as part of our Property I Outlines collection written by the top tier of Thomas Jefferson School Of Law students.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Property I Outlines. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

ADVERSE POSSESSION

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Turns trespassers into owners of lands if they satisfy various elements: Promotes certainty Prevents owners from sitting on their rights for long periods of time Promotes best use of land Gives title to person makes productive use while owner has just sat on their rights Adverse possession is the acquisition of title to real property by continuous possession for the prescribed period of time If the true owner of land fails to start legal proceedings to remove a person who adversely possesses his land within the period of the statute of limitations, the true owner is forever barred from removing the adverse possessor Adverse possessor acquires whatever title to the property the owner had THEORIES 1) Sleeping Theory a. Slothful owners, who ignore people using their land in brazen violation of legal right, deserved to be penalized b. Ought to bear the risk of losing his property if he does not care enough to assert his ownership 2) Earning Theory a. People who use land productively and beneficially for a long time ought to be rewarded b. Even though the land is owned by someone else, the actual possessor has invested time and effort into making it productive c. After a long enough time, the adverse possessor has earned some interest in the land 3) Stability Theory a. Adverse possession enables disputes or doubts about land titles to be cleared expeditiously by delivering title to the person who has occupied that land as if he were the owner for a long time w/out objection ELEMENTS (An ECHO: Actual; Exclusive; Continuous; Hostile; Open) 1) Actual and Exclusive a. Possessor must actually, physically, take possession of the owner's land b. Owner's cause of action accrues at that moment, and the clock on the limitations period starts to run at the moment of actual possession c. Actual possession of the entire parcel evidenced by objects or improvements so located as to suggest bounds d. Exclusive i. Possessor has excluded the public and the owner ii. Can't share possession with owner or public in general

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