Saturday, December 28, 2013

Mannillo v. Gorski case brief

Mannillo v. Gorski case brief summary
255 A.2d 258 (1969)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Defendant landowner challenged the decision of an appellate court (New Jersey), which affirmed the trial court's grant of plaintiff adjoining landowners' request for a mandatory and prohibitory injunction against an alleged trespass upon their lands, and denied defendant's counterclaim for a declaratory judgment that she had gained title to the disputed premises by adverse possession under N.J. Stat. Ann § 2A:14-6.

DISCUSSION

  • The court reversed the denial of defendant landowner's counterclaim for a declaratory judgment which would adjudicate that she had gained title to the disputed premises by adverse possession under N.J. Stat. Ann § 2A:14-6, and the grant of plaintiff adjoining landowner's request for a mandatory and prohibitory injunction against an alleged trespass upon their land. 
  • The court found that the trial court had concluded that defendant had clearly and convincingly proved that her possession of the 15-inch encroachment onto plaintiffs' land had existed for more than 20 years before the institution of suit and that such possession was exclusive, continuous, uninterrupted, visible, notorious and against the right and interest of the true owner. 
  • The court found that there was ample evidence to sustain this finding except as to its visible and notorious nature. 
  • However, the court remanded for a determination of: 
  • (1) whether the true owner had actual knowledge of the encroachment, 
  • (2) if not, whether plaintiffs were obliged to convey the disputed tract to defendant, and 
  • (3) if the answer to the latter question was in the affirmative, what consideration was to be paid for the conveyance.

CONCLUSION
The court reversed the issuance of a mandatory and prohibitory injunction against defendant landowner because although there was ample evidence to sustain the finding that defendant had proved possession of a 15-inch encroachment for last 20 years on plaintiff landowners' land, there was not ample evidence that it was of a visible and notorious nature. The court remanded for a determination.

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