Monday, January 6, 2014

Marengo Cave Co. v. Ross case brief

Marengo Cave Co. v. Ross case brief summary
10 N.E.2d 917 (1937)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant cave owner sought review of a decision of the Crawford Circuit Court (Indiana), which ruled in favor of appellee adjoining landowner in his action to quiet title against the cave owner's claim that it owned all of the cave including a portion of the cave that extended under the landowner's property.

CASE FACTS
The landowner brought an action to quiet his title against the cave owner's claim that it owned all of the cave including the portion that extended underneath the landowner's property.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The trial court ruled in favor of the landowner and denied the cave owner's motion for a new trial. The cave owner claimed it had title to the portion of the cave that extended underneath the landowner's property by adverse possession. The appellate court transferred the case to the court.

DISCUSSION

  • On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court's decision and held that the cave owner's possession for 20 years or more of that part of the cave underlying the landowner's property was not open, notorious, or exclusive, as required by the law applicable to obtaining title to land by adverse possession.
  • The court ruled that the fact that the landowner had knowledge that the cave owner was claiming to be the owner of the cave and advertised it to the general public was no knowledge to him that the cave owner was in possession of the landowner's property or any part of it. 
  • The court held that the statute of limitations did not begin until the landowner discovered that the possession of his property had been invaded.

CONCLUSION
The court affirmed the trial court's decision in favor of the land owner that he had title to the portion of the cave that extended underneath his land.

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