Saturday, December 1, 2012

Carpenter v. Ruperto case brief

Carpenter v. Ruperto
Property Law Case Brief

Subject:  Adverse Possession.

Case Overview:
Carpenter (Plaintiff) sued Ruperto (Defendant) to assert adverse possession of land adjoining Carpenter’s residential property.

Case Facts:
-Carpenter had purchased a home adjoining agricultural land.
-Although the adjoining land had been planted with corn when she first moved in, the rows of corn did not extend as close to the property line during the following year.
-Citing concerns about rats and the threat of fire, Carpenter cleared this unused area and planted it with grass.
-Subsequently she installed a propane tank on the land and constructed a driveway that extended onto it.
-During this time, ownership of the land in question changed hands several times.
-A recent owner, aware of a possible boundary dispute, tried to settle with Carpenter to no avail.


May a person who knowingly makes use of adjoining property claim adverse possession of that property after thirty years of such use?


No, A person may not claim adverse possession under such circumstances.

Analysis and Rules:

Any party seeking to establish title by adverse possession must prove (1) hostile, (2) actual, (3) open, (4) and exclusive and continuous possession of the land under a (5) claim of right or (6) color of title. An implicit condition, which is particularly with regard to criteria (5) and (6), is that the adverse possessor must have acted in good faith in occupying the land. Although it is an exaggeration say that knowledge of a lack of title precludes a finding of good faith, courts have consistently ruled against squatters and other individuals who knowingly occupy land owned by another. Having failed to establish good faith, Carpenter cannot claim adverse possession.

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