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Mullis v. Winchester

118 S.E.2d 61 (1961)

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Mullis v. Winchester

South Carolina Supreme Court

118 S.E.2d 61 (1961)

Facts

In 1931, E.C. Winchester conveyed a 310-acre property to R.H. Burns. Winchester died intestate in 1936. Burns later died testate. No taxes were paid on the property after this conveyance. The sheriff issued a tax execution and sold the property John Chonis. In 1943, Chonis sold the property to Carl Mullis (plaintiff). Mullis used the property for his timber business. He cut timber on the property infrequently, as it was best practice to cut only larger trees. The deed to Chonis was later found to be invalid. In 1957, Mullis brought suit to quiet title based on adverse possession. Adjacent landowners testified that they believed Mullis to be the owner of the property. Further, evidence indicated that cutting timber was the best use of the land. Winchester’s heirs and Burns’s devisees (defendants) objected to the adverse-possession claim, arguing that Mullis’s use of the property was not continuous. The trial court ruled in favor of Mullis. The defendants appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Moss, J.)

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