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Property

Exam 32
30 minutes

Fact Pattern

Seventeen years ago, a property owner granted a sewer-line easement to a private sewer company. The easement allowed the company to build, maintain, and use an underground sewer line in a designated sector of the owner’s three-acre tract. The easement was properly recorded with the local registrar of deeds.

Fifteen years ago, a man having no title or other interest in the owner’s three-acre tract wrongfully entered the tract, built a cabin, and planted a vegetable garden. The garden was directly over the sewer line constructed pursuant to the easement the owner had granted to the sewer company. The cabin and garden occupied half an acre of the three-acre tract. The man moved into the cabin immediately after its completion and remained in continuous and exclusive possession of the cabin and garden until his death. However, he did not use the remaining two and one-half acres of the three-acre tract in any way.

Eight years ago, the man died. Under the man’s duly probated will, he bequeathed to his sister “all real property in which I have or may have an interest at the time of my death.” The man’s sister took possession of the cabin and garden immediately after the man’s death and remained in exclusive and continuous possession of them for one year, but she, too, did not use the remaining two and one-half acres of the tract.

Seven years ago, the man’s sister executed and delivered to a buyer a general warranty deed stating that it conveyed the entire three-acre tract to the buyer. The deed contained all six title covenants. Since this transaction, the buyer has continuously occupied the cabin and garden but has not used the remaining two and one-half acres.

A state statute provides that “any action to recover the possession of real property must be brought within 10 years after the cause of action accrues.”

Last month, the property owner sued the buyer to recover possession of the three-acre tract.


Questions

  1. 1. Did the buyer acquire title to the three-acre tract or any portion of it? Explain.

    2. Assuming that the buyer did not acquire title to the entire three-acre tract, can the buyer recover damages from the sister who sold him the three-acre tract? Explain.

    3. Assuming that the buyer acquired title to the entire three-acre tract or the portion above the sewer-line easement, can the buyer compel the sewer company to remove the sewer line under the garden? Explain.

Question 1

1. Did the buyer acquire title to the three-acre tract or any portion of it? Explain.

2. Assuming that the buyer did not acquire title to the entire three-acre tract, can the buyer recover damages from the sister who sold him the three-acre tract? Explain.

3. Assuming that the buyer acquired title to the entire three-acre tract or the portion above the sewer-line easement, can the buyer compel the sewer company to remove the sewer line under the garden? Explain.

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