adverse user – using real property in an “open, notorious, hostile manner” under a claim of right, contrary to the interests of the true owner

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adverse user:

1. The act of using real property in an “open, notorious, and hostile manner,” under a claim of right, contrary to the interests of the true owner.  (EXAMPLE: walking across land, without permission from the owner, in order to gain access to one’s own land.)  Such use over a period of years is a method for obtaining the right to continue to do so; that is, it is a method for obtaining an easement.
     See user.  Also see open and notorious; prescriptive easement. [1]

1. A continuous and exclusive user as of right for as long as the prescriptive period. 25 Am J1st High § 12.

A use against the owner of the servient tenement as distinguished from a use under such owner. Zollinger v Frank, 110 Utah 514, 175 P2d 714, 170 ALR 770.

One who uses property as his own under a claim of dominion or right existing in himself to the exclusion of all other claimants.

Use may be open and notorious and still not be adverse. Northern Pacific Ry. Co. v Cash, 67 Mont585, 216 P 782.

An adverse user which will ripen into an easement by prescription is an exclusive, open, visible, or notorious use without license or permission of the true owner of the premises, but with his knowledge and hostile to him, under a claim to a definite right which can be the subject of a grant, that continues without interruption for the length of the prescriptive period. 17A Am J Rev ed Ease §§ 74 et seq. [2]

adverse use:

1. A use without license or permission. [3]


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[1]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations Third Edition by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4


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