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Brief Fact Summary. The Appellants, V. Waldemar Kunto and Garnet Kunto (Appellants), appeal from a decree quieting title in the Respondents, Joseph C. Howard and Madeline L. Howard and William J. Yearly and Elizabeth H. Yearly (Respondents) after issue of description in deeds not conforming to land the deed holders occupied.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. To constitute adverse possession, there must be actual possession that is uninterrupted, open and notorious, hostile and exclusive and under a claim of right made in good faith for the statutory period. Summer possession can constitute continuous possession if such possession is similar to the conduct of surrounding owners. Tacking of adverse possession is permitted if the successive occupants are in privity, if there is a reasonable connection between the predecessors and the successive occupants.
Is a claim of adverse possession defeated because the physical use of the premises is restricted to summer occupancy?
May a person who received record title to tract A under the mistaken belief that he has title to Tract B (immediately contiguous to Tract A) and who subsequently occupies Tract B, for the purpose of establishing title to Tract B by adverse possession, use the periods of possession of tract B by his immediate predecessors.
No, summer occupancy only of a summer beach house does not destroy the continuity of possession required by adverse possession. The occupancy of tract B during the summer months for more than the 10-year period by the Appellant and his predecessors, together with the continued existence of the improvements on the land and beach area, constituted uninterrupted possession.
Yes, successive purchasers who receive record title to tract A under the mistaken belief that they were acquiring tract B, immediately contiguous thereto, and where possession of tract B is transferred and occupied in a continuous manner for more than 10 years by successive occupants, have established sufficient privity of estate to permit taking and thus establish adverse possession.
It is enough if the person pleading the statute takes and maintains such possession and exercises such open dominion as ordinarily marks the conduct of owners in general, in holding, managing, and caring for property of like nature and condition.View Full Point of Law