Dictionary of Law

adverse possession :: legal definition

Adverse possession - n. a means to acquire title to land through obvious occupancy of the land, while claiming ownership for the period of years set by the law of the state where the property exists. This can arise when a rancher fences in a parcel contending he was to get title from some prior owner, and then grazes cattle on the property for many years without objection by the title holder. Payment of real property taxes and making improvements (such as paving or fencing) for the statutory period (varies by state) are evidence of adverse possession but cannot be used by a land grabber with no claim to title other than possession.

See also: possession prescriptive easement and Related Law Terms ↓

Related Law Terms

abeyance :: 1) n. when the owner- ship of property has not bee ... 2) legal jargon for "undetermined."
abstract of title :: n. the written report on a title search which show ... e also: chain of title title report
adoption :: n. the taking of a child into one's family, creati ... the child are met. See also: adopt
adultery :: n. consensual sexual relations when one of the par ... s and grist for scandal newspapers.
adverse :: adj. clearly contrary, such as an adverse party be ... the property, such as an easement.
bar examination :: n. the examination given in each state by either t ... n that district. See also: attorney
Bill of Rights :: n. the first ten amendments to the federal Constit ... ved to the states or to the people.
certificate of title :: n. generally, the title document for a motor vehic ... a "pink slip." See also: pink slip
chain of title :: n. the succession of title ownership to real prope ... title conveyance foreclosure title
claim :: 1) v. to make a demand for money, for property, or ... the government, it is lawsuit time.
claim against a governmental agency :: n. any time one believes he/she has a right to pay ... orter than other types of lawsuits.
clear title :: n. holding ownership of real property without any ... s which might affect the ownership.
color of title :: n. the appearance of having title to personal or r ... rty based on this "color of title."
community property :: n. property and profits received by a husband and ... and distribution separate property
complaint :: n. the first document filed with the court (actual ... g prayer service of process summons
condition precedent :: n. 1) in a contract, an event which must take plac ... o the property. See also: condition
condominium :: n. title to a unit of real property which, in real ... ium projects. See also: common area
copyright :: 1) n. the exclusive right of the author or creator ... plagiarism public domain trademark
counterclaim :: n. a retaliatory claim by a defendant against a pl ... d. See also: answer cross-complaint
court :: n. 1) the judge, as in "The court rules in favor o ... cost and wait of full court trials.
covenant :: 1) n. a promise in a written contract or a deed of ... o compete deed restrictive covenant
dedication :: n. the giving of land by a private person or entit ... perty. See also: quiet title action
deed :: 1) n. the written document which transfers title ( ... veyance deed of trust warranty deed
deed of trust :: n. a document which pledges real property to secur ... : foreclosure mortgage reconveyance
defect :: n. an imperfection, quite often so great that the ... See also: defective defective title
defective title :: n. an apparent title to real property which fails ... so: chain of title defect defective
demise :: 1) v. an old-fashioned expression meaning to lease ... r life. 3) n. death. 4) n. failure.
descent :: n. the rules of inheritance established by law in ... on inheritance intestate succession
divorce :: 1) n. the termination of a marriage by legal actio ... y separate property spousal support
easement :: n. the right to use the real property of another f ... rstandings at the time of creation.
eminent domain :: n. the power of a governmental entity (federal, st ... ngs. See also: condemn condemnation
equity :: n. 1) a venerable group of rights and procedures t ... ry enjoin equitable injunction writ
eviction :: n. a generic word for the act of expelling (kickin ... ve eviction lease unlawful detainer
fee :: n. 1) absolute title in land, from old French, fie ... See also: attorney's fee fee simple
fee tail :: n. an old feudal expression for a title to real pr ... rest only. See also: fee fee simple
felony :: n. 1) a crime sufficiently serious to be punishabl ... ion. See also: misdemeanor sentence
foreclosure :: n. the system by which a party who has loaned mone ... ced sale mortgage notice of default
free and clear :: adj. referring to the ownership of real property u ... the title has no claim against it.
grace period :: n. a time stated in a contract in which a late pay ... the contract, i.e. your insurance.
grandfather clause :: n. 1) a clause in a statute or zoning ordinance (p ... Such laws are now unconstitutional.
grant :: v. to transfer real property from a title holder ( ... deed grantee grantor quitclaim deed
grant deed :: n. the document which transfers title to real prop ... rant grantee grantor quitclaim deed
heir :: n. one who acquires property upon the death of ano ... y pretermitted heir succession will
hostile possession :: n. occupancy of a piece of real property coupled w ... verse possession quiet title action
infancy :: n. although the popular use of the word means the ... nority. See also: ad litem minority
insurance :: n. a contract (insurance policy) in which the insu ... t clause Workers' Compensation Acts
interlocutory decree :: n. a court judgment which is temporary and not int ... ppeared to waste the parties' time.
inverse condemnation :: n. the taking of property by a government agency w ... e also: condemnation eminent domain
joint tenancy :: n. a crucial relationship in the ownership of real ... ty property tenancy in common title
laches :: n. the legal doctrine that a legal right or claim ... , breach of contract, fraud, etc.).
land :: n. real property, real estate (and all that grows ... See also: real estate real property
lease :: 1) n. a written agreement in which the owner of pr ... triple net lease unlawful detainer
leasehold :: n. the real estate which is the subject of a lease ... sehold. See also: condominium lease
libel :: 1) n. to publish in print (including pictures), wr ... libel per se public figure slander
lien :: n. any official claim or charge against property o ... ord's lien mechanic's lien mortgage
lis pendens :: (lease pen-dense) n. Latin for "a suit pending," a ... ob can be penalized by court order.
marketable title :: n. the title to real property which has no encumbr ... e. See also: contract real property
marriage :: n. the joining of a male and female in matrimony b ... of time without legal formalities.
merger :: n. 1) in corporate law, the joining together of tw ... and taking one, and wife the other.
mining claim :: n. a description by boundaries of real property in ... g within a specific period of time.
mortgage :: n. a document in which the owner pledges his/her/i ... losure notice of default trust deed
nominal party :: n. a defendant or a plaintiff included in a lawsui ... ed. See also: necessary party party
notice :: n. 1) information, usually in writing in all legal ... Thirty-day notice three-day notice
operation of law :: n. a change or transfer which occurs automatically ... atically upon the child turning 18.
option :: n. a right to purchase property or require another ... ng or upon expiration of the lease.
possession :: n. 1) any article, object, asset or property which ... ctive possession. See also: possess
possessory interest :: n. in real estate, the intent and right of a perso ... o: possess possession real property
possibility of a reverter :: n. the potential that the title to a real property ... further issue. See also: reversion
prescription :: n. the method of acquiring an easement upon anothe ... ty. See also: prescriptive easement
property :: n. anything that is owned by a person or entity. P ... rty real property separate property
quiet title action :: n. a lawsuit to establish a party's title to real ... opposition. See also: notice title
quitclaim deed :: n. a real property deed which transfers (conveys) ... also: convey deed grant deed title
real property :: n. 1) all land, structures, firmly attached and in ... onal property real estate reversion
reconveyance :: n. in those states which use deeds of trust as a m ... conveyance. See also: deed of trust
record :: 1) v. (ree-cored) to put a document into the offic ... eeding race to the courthouse trial
reentry :: n. taking back possession and going into real prop ... ages. See also: landlord and tenant
remainder :: n. in real property law, the interest in real prop ... ed reversion title vested remainder
restraint on alienation :: n. an attempt in a deed or will to prevent the sal ... enant rule against perpetuities use
restrictive covenant :: n. 1) an agreement included in a deed to real prop ... o: covenant that runs with the land
resulting trust :: n. a trust implied by law (as determined by a cour ... See also: constructive trust trust
rule against perpetuities :: n. the legal prohibition against tying up property ... . See also: restraint on alienation
sentence :: 1) n. the punishment given to a person convicted o ... ence restitution suspended sentence
separate property :: n. in community property states (California, Texas ... pouse. See also: community property
statute of limitations :: n. a law which sets the maximum period which one c ... ies. See also: demurrer laches toll
subject to :: adj. referring to the acquisition of title to real ... : assumption deed of trust mortgage
tax :: n. a governmental assessment (charge) upon propert ... unified estate and gift tax use tax
tenancy by the entirety :: n. joint ownership of title by husband and wife, i ... ee also: community property tenancy
title :: n. 1) ownership of real property or personal prope ... ink slip real property title search
title insurance :: n. a policy issued by an insurance company guarant ... : chain of title title title search
title report :: n. the written analysis of the status of title to ... lso: abstract title title insurance
title search :: n. the examination of county records for the prope ... e escrow lien title title insurance
toll :: v. 1) to delay, suspend or hold off the effect of ... bridge or take passage on a ferry.
unlawful detainer :: n. 1) keeping possession of real property without ... Thirty-day notice three-day notice
use :: n. the right to enjoy the benefits of real propert ... ay it is only of academic interest.

Popular Law Searches

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Other Law Terms - A

a fortiori :: (ah-for-she-ory) prep. Latin for "with even strong ... rother Cain certainly is too young.
a priori assumption :: (ah-pree-ory) n. from Latin, an assumption that is ... when the reality is not so certain.
a.k.a. :: prep. abbreviation for "also known as" when someon ... nodgrass, a.k.a. "Snuffy the Snod."
ab initio :: prep. lawyer Latin for "from the start," as "it wa ... tart," as "it was legal ab initio."
abandon :: v. to intentionally and permanently give up, surre ... lso: abandoned property abandonment
abandoned property :: n. property left behind (often by a tenant) intent ... -use. See also: abandon abandonment
abandonment :: n. the act of intentionally and permanently giving ... : abandon abandoned property patent
abate :: v. to do away with a problem, such as a public or ... ty septic tank. See also: abatement
abatement :: n. 1) the removal of a problem which is against pu ... eneficiary in full. See also: abate
abduction :: n. the criminal taking away of a person by persuas ... g of children. See also: kidnapping
abet :: v. to help someone commit a crime, including helpi ... n the crime. See also: aid and abet
abeyance :: 1) n. when the owner- ship of property has not bee ... 2) legal jargon for "undetermined."
able-bodied :: adj. physically capable of working at a job or in ... of paying alimony or child support.
abortion :: n. the termination of pregnancy by various means, ... ed abortion continue in the future.
abrogate :: v. to annul or repeal a law or pass legislation th ... ons of a contract. See also: repeal
abscond :: v. 1) traditionally to leave a jurisdiction (where ... as in "he absconded with the loot."
absolute :: adj. complete, and without condition. ... j. complete, and without condition.
abstention doctrine :: n. when the Supreme Court refuses to exercise its ... being appealed from a state court.
abstract :: n. in general, a summary of a record or document, ... tract of judgment abstract of title
abstract of judgment :: n. a written summary of a judgment which states ho ... aying the debt. See also: levy lien