Adverse possession encourages (a) efficiency of land use and (b) eliminates transactioncosts associated with title.HolmesAdverse possession is reasonable because long possession makes property part of oneself,in some way.Van Valkenbergh v, LutzAdverse possession requires that the adverse possessor use the property in roughly thesame manner as a true owner (e.g., by enclosing, cultivating or improving).Elements of adverse possession:Actual entry giving exclusive possession, which isOpen and notorious, and which isAdverse and under claim of right,Continuous for the statutory periodManillo v. GorskiOverstepping the bounds of one’s property is generally not “open and notorious,” but if done and relied on in good faith, may require equitable forced transfer.
Adverse Possession of Chattels
O’Keefe v. Snyder Adverse possession of chattels has problem with respect to openness and notoriety.Adverse possession will begin when the true owner should reasonably know of theadverse possessor’s claim, by the use of measures to make theft known.
Chapter 3: Possessory Estates in Land
Magic words creating freehold estates:Fee SimpleFee TailLife Estate
To X and his heirsTo X and the heirs ofTo X for lifehis body
Fee Tail interest as construed by modern jurisdictions
To A and the heirs of his body, remainder to B
, creates:1. Life estate in A followed by a fee simple in his issue (minority)2. Fee simple in A3. Fee simple with a gift over to B if A dies without issue4. Fee Tail (in states which have not abolished it), which is subject todisentailment.