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Gruebele v. Geringer

Supreme Court of North Dakota
640 N.W.2d 454 (2002)


In 1975, Raymond Guthmiller purchased a piece of property (Tract 1) adjacent to property (Tract 2) owned by John Guthmiller and Elizabeth Guthmiller. A garage had previously been built on the property line of the two tracts. At the time Raymond purchased Tract 1 in 1975, John and Elizabeth gave Raymond permission to use the garage, and the two adjacent owners shared the use of the building. In 1977, Harry Wallenvein purchased Tract 1. In 1994, Reinhold Gruebele and Marion Gruebele (plaintiffs) purchased Tract 2 and began storing gardening tools, a boat, and a pickup truck in the garage. In 1996, Lawson Geringer (defendant) purchased Tract 1. After Geringer’s purchase, the Gruebeles removed their property from the garage and told Geringer that the garage was on the property line and needed to be moved. The Gruebeles then brought action to quiet title to Tract 2, and Geringer argued that he owned the disputed property under the doctrine of adverse possession. The trial court held that Geringer had failed to show exclusive and continuous possession of the property, and ordered title to the property quieted as to Geringer’s claims. Geringer appealed.

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