My neighbor just filed a lawsuit against me based on a dispute over the boundary line of adjoining properties. His claim is based on the doctrine of adverse possession. Can you explain this to me?
1 Answer from Attorneys
There was a time when if a neighbor started using your land (typically a flower bed) and got away with it for ten years, the land was theirs. Recently, New York's highest court changed the law. If you don't have a deed that you think covers the land in dispute then you can't get it by adverse possession. This dispenses with the insanely-complex rules about the openness and notoriety of the adverse possession. In other words, in order for an adverse possession claim to succeed, there has to be a defect in your title. Notify your title company if you have one. Otherwise, expect a legal bill in the $5,000 range.