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Chapter 3


  1. In 1960, Beck purchased valid title to Blackacre, located in Ames. That same year, Warren purchased valid title to Whiteacre, the adjoining parcel. Both parties reasonably but mistakenly believed that the boundary line between Blackacre and Whiteacre was a large oak tree, so in 1961 both fenced their property accordingly. In reality, the proper boundary between the two parcels is 30 yards to the south of the oak tree, so that the existing fencing has been depriving Warren of the use of land which belongs to him. In 2008, Warren discovered the error, and has brought an action to recover the 30-yard strip. May Warren recover the strip? (Assume a 20-year statute of limitations for this and Qs. 6-7). _______________
  2. In 1960, Osmond, the owner of Blackacre, left the property “to my son Steve and my daughter Deborah in equal shares.” Steve moved onto the property and lived there for the next 40 years. Deborah never liked the property, and made no attempt to live there at any time. In 2008, Deborah died, leaving all of her personal and real property to her son Frank. If Frank now seeks a judicial declaration that he is the owner of a one-half interest in Blackacre, will he succeed? _______________
  3. Orlando acquired Blackacre in 1960. In 1970, Alice acquired Whiteacre, the adjacent parcel. Alice built a fence on what she thought was the border between the two properties. In fact, her fence encroached 40 yards into Orlando’s property. Alice actively, openly and continuously occupied this 40-yard strip for the next 35 years. In 2005, Orlando discovered the error, and informed Alice that she had been using his property. Alice said, “O.K., I now recognize that this strip is your property.” She also moved the fence. Shortly thereafter, Alice died, leaving Whiteacre to her son Stokes. Who owns the strip, Stokes or Orlando? _______________

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