Van Valkenburgh v. Lutz by aiowmnyv




Van Valkenburgh v. Lutz, Court of Appeals of NY, 1952 Was there sufficient evidence of adverse possession? Issue Reasoning
Majority Seems to find use insufficient Dissent Should construe § 39 & 40 not narrowly but with ref to character, nature, condition of property. No one else asserted title Neighbors called “Mr. Lutz’s farm” and “Charlies’ house” There for 30 yrs – that’s enough notice! Intended to occupy as L’s own. Disclaimed after SoL (after title vested in him) Continuous uninterrupted occupation for SoL period Pattern of occupation of an actual owner No proof of substantial enclsosure  Did not cultivate whole premise  Premises not improved  (junk, chicken coop, garbage don’t count as improvement) Logs & brush as boundary Was wild and overgrown – cleared by L. Developed into truck farm of substantial size. Nearly all. Premises protected by substantial enclosure Usually cultivated or improved. Cultivated or improved Dissent: disclaimer of title before SoL runs prevents title from vesting. But disclaimer after has no effect.

Actually possess or occupy (Actual occupation) Use of the kind appropriate to the property triggers owner’s cause of action Exclusive of other rights Exclusive entry and use Open and Notorious - visible Suff iciently public to warn other (notice) Claim of title – Claim of right, hostile, adverse, without owner’s permission 1912 1912 1916 1920

L buys 14 & 15 Clears traveled way across 19 Truck farm Houses on 14/15 & 19 occupied Charlie (brother) lives on 19 but house was L (Charlie paid rent) L gardens fulltime on 19 Enclosed with logs Famed on majority of land – left timber on other part VV moves in Disputes between VV and L VV buys 19 VV ejects L L wins right of way over traveled way Conceded ownership by legal title to VV L brings adverse possession suit – title perfected in 1935


Not hostile because he thought he built garage on his land Conceded ownership of VV

1937 1946 4/1947 7/1947 1948 1948

Held Procedure P argues D argues

L does not have title by adverse possession. Evidence does not support adverse possession.



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