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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33911
Experience:  12+ yrs. of experience including real estate law.
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My wife and I purchased a property in oaks subdivision

Customer Question

My wife and I purchased a property in white oaks subdivision outside the city limits of Dixon, Il We took possesion on about July 1 2006 at the time a wooden fence had been installed around the rear part of the property' The left portion of the fence was installed about 24 to 30 inches over the lot line.We have a problem that the adjoining property has been sold and the new owners want the fence moved. The fence was installed sometime prior to our taking possesion. We want to know if we have to move the fence as immenent domain; we didnt know of the problem until now. Farrel Wright
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.

My name is***** have over 16 years experience in the law. Should you like to chat on the phone I am happy to for a nominal cost. Let me know at any time during our question and answer session if you are interested I am happy to give you more details.

Imminent domain is the power to take private property for public use by a state, municipality, or private person or corporation authorized to exercise functions of public character, following the payment of just compensation to the owner of that property. This doctrine has no application to the circumstances you describe.

I believe you are referring to the legal doctrine of adverse possession. Adverse possession (under IL law) is when an individual publicly moves into an otherwise neglected property, improves this property, and is therefore granted title to it after a period of time.

The statute is found at §5/13-101.

Adverse possession, under Illinois law, is the “open and hostile possession of land under claim of title to the exclusion of the true owner, which, if continued for the period prescribed by statute, ripens into an actual title.”

To establish title under the adverse possession doctrine in Illinois, a person must establish that his or her possession of land was:

(1) continuous,
(2) hostile
(3) actual,
(4) open, notorious and exclusive, and
(5) under claim of title inconsistent with that of the true owner for a period of 20 years.

All five of these elements must have existed concurrently for the full 20 - year period before the doctrine will apply.

What you are describing, if you can prove the fence was in place for the last 20 years? Then you can claim title to that land. But you have to prove 20 years...anything less will not meet the requirements of the statute.

Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.