Good afternoon, thank you for your question.
Yes, there is such a thing. This is actually known as "adverse possession" under the law.
To claim such a right, an individual must be able to show that he has maintained open, exclusive and continuous use of the property for at least 10 years, that he believed he owned the property during that time (a person who knows they are trespassing can never take adverse possession) and that the belief was objectively based, was reasonable under the particular circumstances and that each element required is proved with clear and convincing evidence.
The statute reads in part:
Acquiring title by adverse possession
(1) A person may acquire fee simple title to real property by adverse possession only if:
(a) The person and the predecessors in interest of the person have maintained actual, open, notorious, exclusive, hostile and continuous possession of the property for a period of 10 years;
(b) At the time the person claiming by adverse possession or the person’s predecessors in interest, first entered into possession of the property, the person entering into possession had the honest belief that the person was the actual owner of the property and that belief:
(A) By the person and the person’s predecessor in interest, continued throughout the vesting period;
(B) Had an objective basis; and
(C) Was reasonable under the particular circumstances; and
(c) The person proves each of the elements set out in this section by clear and convincing evidence.
(2)(a) A person maintains "hostile possession" of property if the possession is under claim of right or with color of title.
(b) Absent additional supporting facts, the grazing of livestock is insufficient to satisfy the requirements of subsection (1)(a) of this section.
If a person feels they meet these conditions, they would have to petition the court in either the county where the property is located or the county where they live to take adverse possession of the property.
Please let me know if you have follow-up questions.
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