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Adverse Possession: Hostile Possession or Possession Under Claim of Right

This lesson focuses upon the requirement that an adverse possession claim must be based upon possession that is sufficiently "hostile" and "under claim of right." This lesson addresses the following topics: the rationale behind the "hostile/under claim of right" requirement and how it relates to the other elements of the common law adverse possession rule; the significance of "permission to occupy land" under adverse possession doctrine, and how to distinguish between permissive and hostile claims; and the legal standards by which differing courts have evaluated the hostility of a possessor’s claim, either by reference to the possessor’s actions (objectively), or state of mind (subjectively).

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the lesson, the student will be able to:
1. Recall the purpose served by the "hostile/under claim of right" requirement.
2. Express the significance of "permission to occupy land" under the adverse possession doctrine.
3. Explain the legal standards by which differing courts have evaluated the hostility of a possessor's claim, either by reference to their actions (objectively), or their state of mind (subjectively), or both.

 

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