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Romero v. Garcia

Citation. 89 N.M. 1, 546 P.2d 66,1976 N.M.
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Brief Fact Summary.

A person claims adverse possession on land described in an invalid deed.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

A deed has a proper description of land if it is possible by reasonable rules of construction to ascertain from the description what property is intended to be conveyed.


In 1947, Ida Romero (Plaintiff) and her husband purchased land from the husband’s father. The husband’s mother did not sign the deed, though her husband did. (Both are Defendants). Plaintiff and her husband built a home on a portion of the land. They lived in the home until 1962, when the husband died. Plaintiff attempts to quiet title to the land.


When determining if a deed gives an adequate description of land for purposes of adverse possession, may extrinsic evidence be used to ascertain the boundaries?


Yes. Judgment affirmed.
A deed is sufficient under color of title even though it is void because one party failed to sign it.
Defendants claim the deed is insufficient for adverse possession because it failed to adequately describe a parcel of land which can be ascertained from the ground.
A deed will not be void for want of a proper description if with the deed and extrinsic evidence, a surveyor can ascertain the boundaries of the land intended to be conveyed.
Here, the Plaintiff has consistently identified certain areas as hers and her deceased husband’s. A surveyor, with the aid of extrinsic evidence, found this to be the same property described in the deed after he did his own examination. Therefore, the description in the deed is adequate.


When one holds property under color of title (i.e., a void deed), he will obtain title to the whole area described in the deed under adverse possession, as long as extrinsic evidence can aid in giving an exact location of the land.

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