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Gilardi v. Hallam

Supreme Court of California
636 P.2d 588 (1981)


Facts

Gary Hallam’s (defendant’s) predecessors owned lot 1408. Because a survey stake establishing the boundary between lots 1408 and 1407 was mistakenly placed, Hallam’s predecessors improved a portion of neighboring lot 1407 by installing a sidewalk, sprinkler system, trees, and a lawn, under the impression that the land was part of lot 1408. Richard Gilardi (plaintiff), the owner of lot 1407, brought suit against Hallam, attempting to reclaim the property. Hallam claimed title by adverse possession. The trial court ruled in Gilardi’s favor, concluding that (1) the possession by Hallam’s predecessors was insufficiently hostile and adverse because they mistakenly believed that the improved portion was part of lot 1407, and so never intended to claim land which did not belong to them; and (2) Hallam’s predecessors did not pay taxes on the disputed property as required for a finding of adverse possession in California.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Broussard, J.)

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