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Phillips v. Parker

483 So. 2d 972 (1986)

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Phillips v. Parker

Louisiana Supreme Court

483 So. 2d 972 (1986)

Facts

G. R. Weaver owned a parcel of lakefront land and built a camp on part of it. In 1955, Weaver decided to sell two lakefront lots from the remainder of the parcel. Weaver sold one lot to the McCullers, who properly recorded the sale. Weaver sold the second lot to the Parkers (defendants). When the Parkers went to the lot after the sale, however, they realized that the description in the deed did not match up with the lot they had intended to buy but rather described the portion of the parcel that contained Weaver’s camp. The Parkers consulted an attorney, employed a surveyor, and followed the attorney’s advice to transfer that lot back to Weaver and obtain a new deed that conveyed the lot they intended to purchase. The description in this new deed, however, actually included a 13-foot strip of land that overlapped onto the lot that Weaver had recently sold to the McCullers. The Parkers’ attorney conducted a title search, but the attorney either failed to find the recordation of this recent sale to the McCullers or failed to examine the actual measurements of the two lots. The Parkers immediately took possession of the lot, built a camp, and the next year built a fence around the entire property, including the 13-foot strip. In 1972, the McCullers conveyed their lot to Phillips. In 1982, Phillips discovered the 13-foot overlap between her property and the Parkers’ property. Phillips asked the Parkers to remove the fence, which was the first time the Parkers learned of the overlap. Phillips brought a boundary action to establish ownership of the disputed strip. The Parkers claimed to have acquired ownership of the disputed slip by acquisitive prescription. The trial court held that the Parkers were in legal bad faith based on the flawed title search, even though it had not revealed the overlap, and held for Phillips. The court of appeal affirmed that judgment, and the Parkers appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lemmon, J.)

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