This is called ADVERSE POSESSION.
One who seeks to assert title to a tract of land under the doctrine of adverse possession
must prove by a preponderance of the evidence:
(1) That he has held the tract adversely or hostilely in a manner and duration prescribed by law, NC is 20 years.
(2) That the possession has been actual;
(3) That the possession has been open and notorious;
(4) That possession has been exclusive;
(5) That possession has been continuous;
You can file a claim to the land if you have appeared to have met all the obligations above.
Other points on NC
NORTH CAROLINA 1-38, et seq.; 1-17 Generic AP 20 yrs.
Color of Title: 7 yrs.
Time limit to sue after disability lifted: 3 yrs.
If this helps please click ACCEPT.