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Brunson v. Hemler

989 So. 2d 246 (2008)

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Brunson v. Hemler

Louisiana Court of Appeal

989 So. 2d 246 (2008)

Facts

In 1936, Jules Gilley and his family began using an 80-acre tract of land for farming. Mr. Gilley’s daughters Barbara Cannon and Lydia Mae Brunson (plaintiffs) grew up in the family home nearby. The family had fenced in the entire property in 1938, with Mrs. Brunson’s husband, Robert Brunson (plaintiff), helping Mr. Gilley to construct the fence. Since that time, the land had been continually occupied, fenced, and farmed by Mr. Gilley and later by his family. A group of individuals, the trustee of a trust, the administrators of an educational fund, and officials of the University of Virginia were the record title owners (record title landowners) (defendants) of 60 acres of the 80-acre tract. Mr. and Mrs. Brunson and Mrs. Cannon filed a petition for declaratory judgment seeking to be declared the owners of the property by acquisitive prescription. At trial, one of the record title landowners admitted that he had not been on the land in question since 1965, claimed that he had not noticed any fencing or evidence of farming, and claimed that he had leased the right to hunt on the property a number of times. The trial court rendered the declaratory judgment for the Brunsons and Mrs. Cannon. The record title landowners appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Peatross, J.)

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