Greenacre is a tract of 1,000 acres owned by O in fee simple. O executes a deed conveying Greenacre to A in fee simple. However, O never delivers the deed to A. Subsequently, O dies. O’s will states: “I leave all of my real and personal property to B.” B lives in another state and does not seek to occupy or otherwise make use of Greenacre. B does not grant permission to anyone to enter or to use Greenacre.
Shortly after O’s death, A discovers the undelivered deed among O’s possessions. A is not aware of the provisions of O’s will. There is a house on Greenacre, which sits inside a fenced area of five acres. Beginning in Year 1, A enters Greenacre and takes up residence in the house. A maintains the house and the five-acre fenced area, but does nothing with the rest of Greenacre.
A resides in the house for 10 years, then dies. A never takes action regarding the undelivered deed. A’s will provides: “I leave all of my interest in any real property to C.” C immediately moves into the house on Greenacre and lives there for another 12 years.
In Year 1, the boundary between Greenacre and an adjacent parcel, Blueacre, is defined by a river running north to south, with Greenacre to the east and Blueacre to the west. The deeds to both parcels have always described the boundary line as extending to the nearest bank of the river. During Years 1-18, the river gradually deposits silt on the western bank, which builds up into solid ground. Over these 18 years, this accretion pushes the course of the river slowly to the east, so that in Year 18, the river lies 100 yards east of where it began in Year 1.
In Year 19, a period of record rainfall causes the river to flood. When the flood recedes two weeks later, the river has moved 500 yards to the east of where it was immediately before the flood. The owner of Blueacre, D, continues to assert ownership of all land up to the western bank of the river, which now lies 600 yards east of where it was in Year 1.
In Year 22, B seeks to evict C from Greenacre. B also seeks to exclude D from all land that was on the eastern side of the river at the beginning of Year 1, land which now lies on the western side of the river.
The statute of limitations for ejectment is 21 years.
- What interest, if any, does C have in Greenacre? Explain.
- In Year 22, what is the correct boundary line between Blueacre and Greenacre? Explain.