Legal Question in Civil Litigation in Indiana

Deed Overlap Dispute

We have an issue with a church, who's property borders my mother's property. My mother has owned the property since 1995. The previous owner has owned the property prior to this for several years. It was recently discovered there is a 21 ft deed overlap. My mother has possessed this 21 ft overlap since she has owned the property. She has mowed the property and planted rose bushes in this area. We also verified that she has paid the property taxes on this 21 ft. The previous owner has also paid the taxes on this piece of land. Members of the church have recently crossed into the 21 ft area and removed bushes that my mother has planted and maintained since she owned the property. They then planted trees in this area. Recently, my mother received a letter from an attorney, apparently representing the church indicating a demand to cease any attempted use of of the Church property and acknowledge that any claim made to the church property is now withdrawn. My question is. Since my mother and the previous owner of the property have maintained and paid property taxes on this 21 ft. piece of land, would this not be excellent grounds to pursue this within the legal system? And what would we to help document the circumstances?

Asked on 10/12/07, 10:02 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

C. David DuMond Law Offices of David DuMond

Re: Deed Overlap Dispute

I am sorry your neighbor -- a church, no less -- is behaving like a rude, unwashed and greedy barbarian. It appears you have a good case to "quiet title" in your name on an adverse possession theory. Invite the Christians to submit the matter to mediation. Or, gather your evidence and confer with a local attorney experienced in property law litigation. And send the rude barbarians a copy of the Fifth Chapter of Matthew, verse 40. Good luck.

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Answered on 10/12/07, 11:02 pm
Burton Padove Indiana and Illinois Lawyer, Burton A. Padove

Re: Deed Overlap Dispute

It sounds like you have a good claim for adverse possession. You need to hire an attorney to file a quiet title action. However, I am puzzled by your comment that taxes have been paid. Church property is usually tax exempt. Are you sure your mother does not already own that property?

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Answered on 10/13/07, 8:52 am

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