Brown v. Gobble

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Brown v. Gobble
Court West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
Citation
Date decided May 17, 1996

Facts

The Gobbles (defendants) purchased their land in West Virginia in April 1985.


The Browns (plaintiffs) bought the adjoining property in 1989. A land survey revealed that a fence of the Gobbles encroached on their property by 2 feet. Nonetheless, the Browns didn't assert ownership that the land portion until 1994.

Procedural History

The Browns sued the Gobbles in the Mercer County Circuit Court. The Browns win in the Circuit Court even though the Gobbles and their predecessors had presumed to own the disputed tract of land for numerous decades.

Issues

May a party claiming title to land by adverse possession tack the time that previous owners have possessed the land to the time the party (Gobbles) has possessed the land?

Holding

Yes. Adverse possession can ripen into clear title by tacking on the times of previous possessors.

Sequential possessors of land may tack their period of successive possession if they have privity with one another.

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