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One claiming title by adverse possession must prove that his possession of the disputed parcel was actual, adverse, hostile, under claim of right, exclusive and uninterrupted for the statutory period. In Colorado, the statutory period is 18 years. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 38-41-101(1) (1982). A claimant must establish the elements of adverse possession by a preponderance of the evidence.
Plaintiff first landowner brought suit against the defendant landowners to quiet title after surveys disclosed that the boundary lines were not where the owners believed them to have been. The defendants alleged that they had adversely possessed the parcels of land for eighteen years and thereby had acquired absolute ownership of that property. They made use of the parcels and maintained a drainage ditch. The district court held that ownership had been established by adverse possession consistent with the boundaries believed to have been correct.
Was adverse possession established in the case?
Adverse possession was established where the defendants’ use was consistent with that of the average landowner in asserting the exclusive nature of the landowner's possession of such a parcel. The defendants’ actions established actual occupancy adverse to the plaintiff.