A Case of Lisa and Danny
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.
Adverse Possession – A Case of Lisa and Danny
Lisa a neighbor to Danny in Guerrero Street, who unknowingly built a gazebo in a land that, belongs to Danny. Lisa has been actively using the gazebo for fifteen years, after which Danny discovers through a surveyor that the land on which the gazebo was built is actually his. The case constitutes a wrongful possession of Danny’s land by Lisa, which Lisa may contest in the court of law to gain legal possession of the land.
According to (Fox, 2008), adverse possession defined as the acquisition of the title to a property through the possession of the property over a continuous set of time as prescribed in the laws of the state that the property falls. The doctrine of adverse possession emanates from the British common law that favors the land user over the landowner, even if the owner is the rightful owner of the title to the real property. In the case provided, Lisa can contest for the ownership of the land under the doctrine of adverse possession.
An individual must meet numerous conditions in order to claim a property under the adverse possession doctrine (Woods, 2009). Depending on the particular state, a real property user must prove actual, notorious and open occupation to show that sufficient notice of occupation was shown to the real owner of the property. In the case, Lisa has been using the property for the last fifteen years, to which she built a gazebo. In building a business premise, Lisa offered sufficient notice to Danny on the use of the land. Moreover, the presence of gazebo is an evidence of notorious use of the real property, which is sufficient evidence for Danny to realize that Lisa is using the land. Moreover, the Guerrero Street adverse possession period is ten years, yet Lisa has been using the land for the last fifteen years. Given that Lisa has built a business premise and been actively using the land so as to offer sufficient notice to Danny, offers her evidence to acquire the land title from Danny under the adverse possession.
Secondly, under the adverse possession doctrine one must show sufficient evidence that s/he has been paying taxes against the property for at least five years (Fox, 2008). The gazebo built by Lisa constitutes a property in the land. Moreover, the business as well as the property attracts taxes as described in the Guerrero Street taxation policies. Since, there is no evidence that Lisa has defaulted any taxes to the state over the duration of the ownership, and the business operation, she can institute the claim for the land title from Danny under the adverse possession law. Over the 15 years, her use was continuous and hence she is not a trespasser.
In addition, Lisa can institute defense against repossession of the land by Danny owing to the fact that her possession of the property was done without the consent of the owner. According to (Woods, 2009), a property owner can institute legal proceedings to claim ownership of a real property under the doctrine of adverse possession if they occupy and use the property without the consent of the real owner. When the owner is notified of the land use, they give the permission for its use and the person under the property cannot claim it. In the case, Lisa has been using the land without the knowledge of Danny that the land belongs to him. Danny only discovers that he was the real owner of the land after the surveyors determined that Lisa’s gazebo was built in Danny’s land. Since Danny was not aware and was neither notified by Lisa, Lisa can claim the land title under the adverse possession doctrine.
In conclusion, Lisa can claim the land from Danny under the adverse possession doctrine because she meets a number of conditions under the adverse possession. First, she has been using the land for a period long enough that satisfy the length of time specified in the Guerrero Street adverse possession law. In addition, her occupation was done without the consent of Danny and she has been paying all the taxes owed to the real property use.
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