Adverse Possession

Lisa and Danny are neighbors that live on Guerrero Street. Fifteen years ago Lisa built a gazebo. She frequently used the gazebo, but she was not aware that actually the gazebo was on property belonging to Danny. A month after the gazebo was built Lisa built a fence between her and Danny’s yard, and the gazebo was on Lisa’s side of the fence. Fifteen years later, Danny has a survey done, and he discovers that the gazebo is on his land. Danny brings a suit to evict Lisa from the land. Does Lisa have a defense? Assume, that the state in question has an adverse possession period of ten years.

Please use the following information Adverse possession is another way that ownership of land may be changed. This method does not require a deed. It occurs where possession of the land is:

Actual and exclusive- This means that the one seeking to gain land through adverse possession must actually possess the land. And the adverse possessor must do so exclusively. Open, visible and notorious—This requirement protects owners of the land by requiring the adverse possessor to make their presence on the land knowable. Ordinarily, this requires the adverse possessor to use the land in a manner that it is customarily used. Continuous and peaceable for the requisite time—This requires a certain continuity. The amount of time differs from state to state. It is anywhere from 5-20 years ordinarily, and this time is set by statute. Hostile and adverse—The hostility requirement requires the adverse possessor’s interest to be inconsistent with the owner’s interest. In practice, this means that the owner has not given the one claiming adverse possession permission to be on the land (as in the case of a tenant/landlord situation).


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