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Real Property Dispute

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CaseArthur B. Roberts et al. v. Robert Bailey et al.

Issue:  Can a party acquire title by prescription where another party with a legal interest previously lacked notice of their potential interest?

Facts: The Baileys maintained exclusive and uninterrupted possession of the Disputed Property for decades. In 2009, a boundary line dispute revealed that the Littletons actually had legal interest in the Disputed Property. Unbeknownst to anyone for decades, the couple acquiring the property in 1918 possessed title as tenants in common rather than tenants in the entirety, which should have deprived the Bailey’s from acquiring title. After years of litigation, the trial court found that the Littletons properly had title.

Appellate Decision:  The intermediate court affirmed in favor of the Littletons. The Baileys, who initially had physical ownership, could not establish title by prescription because the Littletons lacked notice of their potential interest prior to the 2009 boundary line dispute.

Review Granted:  December 18, 2014.

Prediction: Ben thinks the Supreme Court will affirm for the reasons provide in the intermediate court’s opinion.