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Law School Wasn’t a Complete Waste After All!

wrk_squats1.jpgOne of the more torturous lessons in first-year property class is the week spent on adverse possession (remember “choate”? Continuous, Hostile, Open, Actual, for the requisite period of Time, and Exclusive), particularly given just how infrequent the issue actually arises in property law.

Well, all that hard work has finally paid off because we here at QuizLaw have found an actual adverse possession case, one — in fact — in which the adverse possessor won. In Boulder, CO a judge has ordered property owners, Don and Susie Kirlin, to sign over nearly 35 percent of their “4,750-square-foot lot to their neighbors, who said in court that they knowingly trespassed on their neighbor’s property unchallenged for 25 years.” The Kirlins, who have already expended over $100,000 in legal fees, will appeal, after the ruling made their $1 million lot essentially useless, as they are now unable to build their dream house on it.

And for our readers unfamiliar with adverse possession, it’s a little-used law that allows someone to basically trespass — or squat — on a piece of land for a certain number of years (18 in this case) and thereby acquire ownership of it without paying for it.

| Comments (5)


Wow. Came across this law while I was studying realty and thought, how could this actually happen? Apparently, you just have to be a lawyer and a douchebag to make it happen.

Studying realty?

Hang yourself now and get it over with. You've failed at life.

Wow. I had to present on Van Valkenburg this quarter. I didn't know I would ever have to actually see another adverse possession case.

Maybe I'm wrong- but don't you have to actually be using the property as others in the area are using their property? In this case, the McClean and Stevens only used the trails on the Kirlin's property and did NOT use it to build a home, which is what it seems like the rest of the lots in the neighborhood are used for.

nls - you are wrong