Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
When a person claims by possession alone, without showing any title, he must show an adverse possession by enclosures, and his claim will not extend beyond such enclosures.
The record shows, that on the 28th of June, 1836, plaintiff purchased from one John Hutchings, by a notarial act, a tract of land, containing thirty-six arpents in front, by forty in depth, on the east side of bayou Grand Caillou, and eleven arpents and one-third in front, by forty in depth on the west side of the said bayou; and that Hutchings had acquired the same from P. S. Cocke, by an act of sale executed on the 6th of February, 1829. That in the years 1829 or 1830, Hutchings took possession of the tract as owner, and put an overseer and seven hands upon it, who lived on and cultivated the place for about twenty-two months, built some cabins, girdled the trees on about one hundred and fifty arpents on the east side, raised a crop on said land, nearly opposite where Madame Prevost then and now lives, and that two individuals also cultivated the said land at different times by the permission of Hutchings. The plaintiff never resided there, and after his purchase, he abandoned the improvements made by his vendor. It is also established, that the defendants and their ancestors resided for a long time on the west side of the bayou, and that they occupied and cultivated at different periods an inconsiderable part of the land in controversy on both sides; it is not shown however, that the portions thus cultivated and which were unenclosed, were ever possessed by metes and bounds, but there is proof resulting from the testimony of the witnesses and from the plat returned by the surveyor, that their enclosures around the house on the west side have existed for a long time, and contain a small tract of four arpents in front, by two arpents and a half in depth, which is the spot which the defendants and their father have actually occupied for a certain number of years before the institution of this suit. The evidence further shows, that about eighteen months previous to the first trial of this suit, (in March, 1838; the suit was brought in February, 1837,) two persons named Champagne and Daspit, came to reside on the land on the east side, with Madame Prevost's permission; the spot by them occupied is shown on the plat to be five arpents in front, by two and a half in depth. Plaintiff brought a possessory action. The lower court entered judgment for defendants.
Can the claim of the defendants extend beyond the enclosure of the small portion of the land absent a showing of an adverse possession by enclosures?
The court reversed. The possession acquired by the plaintiff’s vendor, which possession was shown to have existed really and actually for more than one year, ought to have enure to the benefit of the plaintiff. This was preserved in his favor by the civil possession, and was sufficient to entitle him to bring and maintain the present action. The plaintiff, under the evidence, would have a right to recover the whole tract, unless he was shown to have suffered a year to elapse after the disturbance, without bringing his possessory action, and unless defendants succeeded in establishing an adverse possession to it or to any part thereof during the period prescribed by law. Defendants did not show their adverse possession to extend, by metes and bounds, with any degree of certainty, except as to a small portion of the land. The plaintiff should have recovered the possession of the rest of the land.