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Patrick v. Goolsby - 158 Tenn. 162, 11 S.W.2d 677 (1928)

Rule:

When A, having good title defining his boundaries to a larger tract of land, without an actual or occupancy possession thereon, B enters thereon under good color of title to a smaller tract lying within A's boundaries, and establishes an actual possession or occupancy within the boundaries of his smaller tract, that B's possession to the extent of his boundaries is of that exceptional constructive character which is effective to put in operation the running of Tennessee's seven-year statute; and, further, that the subsequent location by A of actual possessions on his larger tract, but outside of the boundaries of B, the disputed area, will not reconfer by construction the possession of A, within the boundaries of B, nor suspend the running of the adverse possession statutes.

Facts:

Plaintiff landowners brought an ejectment suit against defendant adverse possessor to recover a 92-acre tract of land. The lower courtheld that the adverse possessor perfected title to the tract. A court of appeals reversed, except for seven acres where the adverse possessor had perfected title by actual enclosure for the statutory period. The adverse possessor sought writs of error and certiorari.

Issue:

Is the adverse possessor entitled to recover a 92-acre tract of land on the ground that he has constructive possession over the property?

Answer:

No.

Conclusion:

The Supreme Court of Tennessee affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals and denied the adverse possessor's requests for writs of error and certiorari. The landowners had a superior record title and could eject the adverse possessor from 85 acres of the disputed 92-acre tract because the adverse possessor had only constructive possession that was neutralized by landowners' constructive possession of the same land. The adverse possessor had established actual possession of only seven acres of the disputed property.

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