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Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 53669
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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When adjoining properties (separated by 30' cattle walk) &

Customer Question

When adjoining properties (separated by 30' cattle walk) & the 30' cattle walk has been used, cleared, leveled, fenced and taken care of for 20 yrs, what is the legal ownership of the cattle walk or easement? The the adjoining neighbor insisted it came off of my property for all of the 20 yrs and has since passed away and the heirs do not acknowledge anything one way or the other. Can I legally have my property re-platted to include the 12 additional ft and the cattle walk?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 5 months ago.
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Expert:  Richard replied 5 months ago.
You can claim ownership of this property through adverse possession given the 20 year time period.Adverse possession is the process of claiming title to real estate by taking it and occupying it for a period of time. Adverse possession requires the following conditions to be met: i) actual possession of the property; ii) open and notorious use of the property; iii) exclusive use of the property; iv) hostile or adverse use of the property; and v) continuous use of the property. In Georgia, the duration of such possession is seven (7) years under color of title and twenty (20) years in other cases under Georgia Code Sections 44-5-163, 164. Color of title means a claim to title which on its face appears to support a person’s claim to title, but is fact defective and therefore fails in establishing title to the real estate. Examples would be: i) a deed whose execution was defective or is in question; ii) a claim arising from another person’s Last Will and Testament, or iii) two or more persons have received separate deeds to the same parcel of real estate. So, you would satisfy the foregoing elements under the 20 year statute, but not the 7 year period requiring color of title. The way the statute works is that after the 20 year period, the neighbor is estopped from bringing a claim against you to recover the land; but, in order to claim title through adverse possession, you would need to file a suit to quiet title. Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as OK, Good or Excellent (hopefully Good or Excellent). Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

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