Michigan Adverse Possession Law
Utica Lawyer Handling Adverse Possession Cases
There is a specific doctrine in Michigan real estate law called Adverse Possession.
This doctrine allows a person to become the owner of land that he or she has occupied
for a certain period of time, even if not the titled owner. The Attorneys at
Douglas A. Tull, P.C., Attorney Douglas
Tull have over 35 years of experience handing various real estate law
issues, including adverse possession matters. They can review your case and determine
how to best address the issues you are facing.
What is adverse possession?
To establish adverse possession, the person claiming it (e.g., the person opposing
the real property action by the existing owner, by asserting the limitations-period
defense) must show that his or her possession was (1) actual, (2) visible, (3) open,
(4) notorious, (5) exclusive, (6) hostile, (7) under cover of a claim of right,
(8) continuous, and (9) uninterrupted for the statutory period of 15 years
Where did adverse possession come from?
The larger idea behind the doctrine of adverse possession stems from the occupation
and development of a growing America. With land sitting unused and undeveloped,
it was thought that the land was being wasted. When someone moved onto the land
and was able to make it productive, this was thought to be an improvement and as
such, the person who made the land useful should be allowed to become the rightful
owner of that land, instead of the owner who let the land sit idle.
Adverse possession by a neighbor
Many adverse possession cases are over a small piece of land, such as the strip
of land between neighbors (often along fence lines). If the property lines are drawn
incorrectly, and your land is actually being used by a neighbor, that person may
become the legal owner of that land in years to come if you don't take some action
to protect your interests.
This is why it is essential that an Owner obtain a property survey when purchasing
property, and actually compare the survey to the "land" which he/she is purchasing.
Boundary disputes and property line disputes can lead to adverse possession (or
to a companion theory known as the Doctrine of Acquiescence, so it is important
to take action if you believe that a neighbor is on your property and using it (and
claiming it) as his or her own land. Attorneys Douglas A. Tull and Andre Laubach
assist individuals on either side of adverse possession matters (either side of
the fence!): those attempting to retain their land and those who have taken over
land and wish it now to be declared legally theirs.
For more qualified advice and guidance regarding matters of adverse possession law
from the attorneys at Douglas A. Tull, P.C., please call toll-free, 1-866-TULL-LAW
(885-5529), or e-mail our firm. Our office
is conveniently located in the heart of Utica, Michigan, at the southwest corner
of Hall Road (M-59) and Van Dyke Avenue. (Map and directions ) Evening or weekend hours are available
by appointment. Home visits are available for the elderly and those with special
needs. Credit cards accepted.