Thank you for the additional information. I am sorry to hear of your dilemma. I realize how frustrating this is for you and I hope to provide you information which is accurate and useful, even though it may not be the news you were hoping to get.
Unfortunately, the neighbor may have a claim for adverse possession.
As in most states, adverse possession in West Virginia is established from the nature of a trespasser’s possession and the length of time the person possesses the land.
A trespasser’s possession must be (i) hostile (against the right of the true owner and without permission); (ii) actual (exercising control over the property); (iii) exclusive (in the possession of the trespasser alone); (iv) open and notorious (using the property as the real owner would, without hiding his or her occupancy); and (v) continuous for the statutory period (which is ten years in West Virginia, under W. Va. Code § 55-2-1).
If you can not reach a negotiated settlement you will need to sue them in an action for trespass. They will assert a defense of adverse possession and the burden will shift to them to prove all of the elements.
You will want to retain an attorney. This is not something to do pro se.
If you need assistance finding local counsel try Martindale Hubble (site rules prohibit us from referring specific attorneys). Many attorneys themselves use this site to locate attorneys outside their jurisdiction or expertise:
It is a huge worldwide database searchable by location and specialty. The attorneys are peer rated. So, they represent the top of the profession.
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