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Adverse Possession and Church Property

Churches can lose a portion of their property to a neighbor.

• Churches can lose a portion of their property to a neighboring landowner as a result of "adverse possession." A neighboring landowner claimed title to 2 portions of a church's property as a result of adverse possession. The first portion of land claimed by the neighbor was land up to a boundary line that was set back several feet onto the church's property. For at least 11 years, the church and neighboring landowner considered this line to be their actual boundary line. The second portion of land claimed by the neighbor was a tract that he maintained for more than 11 years. A New York appellate court concluded that the church had lost its right to both portions of land. With respect to the first portion (land lost by the incorrect boundary line), the court observed: "Testimony shows the practical location of the boundary line and acquiescence thereto by the respective property owners ...

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Posted:
  • May 1, 1992