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Secret Cove, L.L.C. v. Thomas

862 So. 2d 1010 (2003)

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Secret Cove, L.L.C. v. Thomas

Louisiana Court of Appeal

862 So. 2d 1010 (2003)

Facts

The Thomas family owned a tract of land in rural Louisiana and for decades had been in possession not only of their titled property but also of a piece of land that was adjacent to but actually outside of their titled property. This piece of land was inaccessible except by boat or by a road over the Thomases’ property and was wild and undeveloped. The land was bordered by a canal to the east, a bayou waterfront area to the north, the bank of a swamp to the west, and abutted the Thomases’ land to the south. Since 1957 the Thomases had possessed and used this piece of land in a variety of ways, including operating a sand and gravel business, fishing, and as a campground. In 1997, Robert and Deborah Hogan bought 216 acres of land through their corporation Secret Cove, L.L.C. (plaintiffs). Through this purchase, the Hogans acquired legal title to the piece of land that the Thomases had been in possession of. The Hogans asked the current Thomas owners, George and Audrey Thomas (defendants), to vacate the land. The Thomases refused, and the Hogans filed suit to claim ownership. The Thomases asserted that they had acquired ownership of the disputed land through acquisitive prescription. The lower court held for the Thomases, and the Hogans appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Parro, J.)

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