Can I go after my neighbor for taking a piece of my land without my knowledge?

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Can I go after my neighbor for taking a piece of my land without my knowledge?

I have a business that moved in 1980. There was a survey done and they
said several feet have been taken by your neighbor. What can be done?

Asked on July 9, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can do a couple of different things, but before you visit with the neighbor, I suggest you let a real estate attorney review your survey and any title documents to make sure that a taking has occurred.  Assuming that this is the case, they can help you draft a settlement proposal to the neighber to resolve the sitution.  If the sitaution is not resolved, then you may need to file a 'suit to clear title.' This is basically a dispute over who owns what... so the court 'clears up' the title by declaring who is the official owner.
As a general rule, a neighbor cannot take a piece of another person's land without their knowledge. However, there is an equitable theory called 'adverse possession.'  This is basically where another person holds on to something (like land) for so long that they have earned the right to continue their possession of the land.


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