What can be done about a possible adverse possession claim?

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What can be done about a possible adverse possession claim?

School is selling land and 2 blocks of homes are next to this. School put up a fence 40 years ago, but it was just discovered that 3 feet of land inside the fence belongs to school. We have maintained it for 40 years. Do we have recourse to keep this land? They want us to pay lawyer fees, surveys, title and abstract costs. We just want them to help us out with this because they were the ones that put the fence in improperly 40 years ago. We all have structures and gardens on this land.

Asked on August 12, 2011 Iowa

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The first issue is that you need to ascertain is whether the owner of the land where the school is loacted is a governmental entity or not. The reason is that typically one cannot adversely possess land of the sovereign (government) or obtain a prescriptive easement to the lands of the sovereign (government).

It sounds as though the school district wants to "sell" the piece of its land in exchange for the costs to obtain a legal description of this tract of land three feet inside your fence line which would be a survey fee, title insurance policy and recording fees.

Depending on the fees desired for the "sale" of the three foot strip you should consider paying the fee for legal title transfer of it to you.


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