Wht constitutes a case of adverse possession?

UPDATED: May 26, 2012

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Wht constitutes a case of adverse possession?

My neighbor just had his land surveyed and now it looks like our stone retaining wall is about a foot on his property. Noe he wants us to move it. The wall has been there about 25 years and we’ve been here 10 years. He claims the wall has moved over time but there’s no way to tell or even prove it. Plus, the wall is only about 3 feet high with a 150 lbs rocks on the bottom, so I doubt very much it moved. Is this a case of adverse possession? Is there anything I need to do legally (file/petition) to claim adverse possession? Should I make my move first or wait for him to make a move legally?

Asked on May 26, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should make the first move in an action based upon adverse possession or he will move to "quiet title" to the property.  But you may have a time frame problem and you should seek legal consultation.

To establish a claim of adverse possession in Michigan, the claimant must offer proof of his or her possession of the land that is actual, visible, open notorious, exclusive, hostile and under claim of right. 

It is the possession part that worries me most for you because in Michigan it must be uninterrupted for 15 years. in Michigan. Seek legal help.  Good luck.

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