Monday, April 29, 2013

Howard v. Kunto case brief

Howard v. Kunto case brief
477 P.2d 210

CASE SYNOPSIS: Defendants appealed from a decree quieting title in the plaintiffs of a tract of land, in the Superior Court for Mason County (Washington).

FACTS: Defendants' house stood on one lot while their deed described the adjacent lot. At the time quiet title action was commenced, defendants occupied the disputed property less than a year. The lower court found defendants unable to establish a claim for adverse possession because they failed to prove continuity of possession to permit tacking of defendants' possession to their predecessors'.

The court concluded that a ten year summer occupancy did not destroy continuity of possession for purposes of adverse possession because the land was regularly used during the time it was capable of use and defendants made continued improvements on the land. As a result, the court found tacking permitted. The court determined the privity requirement for tacking was satisfied because defendants' claim of right as the last of successive purchasers who received title under the mistaken belief they acquired a contiguous track was sufficiently above that of a trespasser.

CONCLUSION: The court reversed quieting of title in plaintiffs' favor and entered a decree which quieted title in defendants' favor because defendants were able to establish continuity of possession for purposes of a claim to title based on adverse possession.
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