Monday, April 07, 2008

SC Rule for Adverse Possession

Google Analytics tells me that a lot of people wind up on my site when searching for the SC rule for adverse possession. I suppose that's because of a post I wrote a while back called "Rule By Adverse Possession," which really has little to do with the actual rule. So, in order to satisfy the masses, here it is, the SC Rule for Adverse Possession:

"To constitute adverse possession, the possession must be continuous, hostile, open, actual, notorious and exclusive for at least ten years." Knox v. Bogan, 322 S.C. 64, 472 S.E. 2d 43 (S.C. Ct. App. 1996).

There it is, the people wanted it, and the people got it.


Purse Thief said...

Well since your tossing out free legal analysis. Is that just the rule for real property? Is the time shorter for personal property?

Thanks for any insight.

The Blue South said...

First, I don't want my ramblings to be confused with legal analysis. If you want to adversely possess something legally, I suggest you find a lawyer to help you.

But, on to your question. The adverse possession of chattels (personal property) is not dealt with directly in S.C. law. However, there is a 3 year statute of limitations on actions for the recovery of personal property (S.C. Code Section 15-3-530). Thus, if you borrow your neighbor's hammer and don't return it for 3 years, then he can't sue you to get it back. Now if you borrow your neighbor's boat and keep it for 3 years, well, who knows, maybe you have a statute of limitations defense, maybe you don't.

Going by your name, I would say that stealing a purse and keeping it for three years might defeat the owner's claim for recovery of the property or for damages resulting from your behavior. Of course you still may be criminally liable.