A story I just read is similar to the one I posted about recently involving land in Tempe, in that this story, like the Tempe case, involves an individual claiming that he was the true owner of a parcel of land because his ancestors had occupied it. This guy, unlike the guy in Tempe, at least apparently had some ancient documents that he thought backed up his claim, although it sounds like they really didn’t. The difference here is that this guy wasn’t the occupant of the property. He essentially showed up out of nowhere and claimed that the land in question was his, a claim which was disputed by the occupants. So in this case the claimant was not the occupant, but was claiming title based on documents, whereas in the Tempe case the claimant was the occupant, but had no documents.
The claimant in this case lost just like the claimant in the Tempe case, based on the same legal principle: adverse possession. The occupants in this case were able to successfully defeat the competing claim to the property by asserting adverse possession. In the Tempe case, the claimant’s attempt to assert ownership of the property under the doctrine of adverse possession was unsuccessful because the owner was the state. If title to that property had been held by a private owner, the claim of adverse possession probably would have worked.
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