I need some quick help if possible....
County has a community center that it has owned for 60 years that a recent survey showed was 3/4 on the property of adjoining land owner who purchased his acreage in 2010.
My contention is the county can claim title to the property through an adverse possession type claim and possibly get title to the property without paying the current landowner any additional funds. (trespass to try title?) does anyone have any experience with this type issue? I seem to remember a govt unit can adversely possess from the public but not the other way around.
Any quick thoughts would be appreciated.
I would first check the validity of the survey. But, if the county's title chain truly does not describe the land occupied by the part of the building at issue, then you should be able to perfect a title through either a declaratory judgment or in defense of the record owner's claim, assuming he has filed a TTTT suit. See Prop. Code Sec. 16.030(a) and Prop. Code Sec. 16.027.
The building is definitely on the property of the adjoining land owner.
Your answer confirmed what my brief research revealed.
The county can resolve the issue for a $6000 settlement, but a couple of commissioners are determined not to pay anything and go the litigation route, even though I have advised them the lawsuit will cost much more than the settlement amount.
I have never filed a TTT suit with a limitations or adverse possession basis for claiming title to the property, but it seems it could get fairly involved.
There is another concern. I think a successful AP claim might apply only to the land actually occupied by the building (i.e., the limits of any additional property claimed may cause problems). Thus, anyone walking around the outside (e.g., even for maintenance, inspection) might still raise some issues. Feuding neighbors is never a good situation.
I do not know how much land we are talking about, but it does seem 6K might be higher than the going rate. Plus, the owner needs to take into account that he may lose his suit for possession and that he will be gaining some enemies in the community. I doubt your proof of adverse use would get too complicated. Implied dedication to public use may also need to be investigated. But, if the county somehow loses then I guess the entire building must come down (or the purchase price will be even higher). Good luck.
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