All depends. You usually only can acquire land by "adverse possession", if you are there in the open and "notorious". You can also try possession under a claim of right (e.g., as if you had reason to believe you had the right to be there and keep the land, perhaps because you were watching the other property for the owner, and he said I want you there and if you look out for the rest of the land, this land will be yours).
The legal concept behind "squatter's rights" in "adverse possession". Here is a very brief statement on the law of adverse possession, and a summary of the time tables applicable in Illinois:"Adverse possession is the taking of title to real estate by possessing it for a certain period of time. Title means ownership of real estate. The person claiming title to real estate by adverse possession must have actual possession of it that is open, notorious, exclusive and adverse to the claims of other persons to the title. By its very nature, a claim of adverse possession is hostile to the claims of other persons. It cannot be hidden but must be open and notorious in order to put other persons on notice as to one's claim for possession of the real estate."A claim to title by adverse possession often must be made under color of title. Color of title means a claim to title by way of a fact which, although on its face appears to support a person's claim to title, is in some way defective and falls short of actually establishing title to the real estate. An example of a claim made under color of title would be a deed whose execution was defective or is in question. Another example is a claim arising from another person's Last Will and Testament. Yet another common example is where two or more persons have received separate deeds to the same parcel of real estate."Black's Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition."In Illinois, the duration of such possession is seven (7) years when made under color of title and twenty (20) years otherwise. Illinois Code §735-5/13 through 101, 107, 109, 110."
I would contact your local attorney general and report the fraud. They will be able to direct you to the agency that should be able to fix it. If she never sold them the property then she will have a good case.
Yes your case can be argued based on fraud in which the judge could recind all of the sales and put the title back in your mothers name. Squatter rights is a more complex and difficult case to deal with.
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