Q: can an adverse possessor evict the a land owner
can an adverse possessor evict the a land owner....
MD. Courts and Judicial Proceedings Code Ann. § 5-103 (2020) (File an action for recovery of possession of land).
To raise a successful defense of adverse possession, the defendant must show that he POSSESSED the land ADVERSELY, OPENLY, and CONTINUOUSLY in a manner HOSTILE to the record landowner's interests for the prescribed period. If you don't possess, the defense will be difficult to maintain.
I can imagine a set of circumstances where Abel came on Blackacre in the early months of the new millennium, fenced it, farmed it, put a big yellow sign over the gate that renamed it Abelacre, and lived on it openly until Bonnie Black came on the land with a gun and dispossessed Abel. I would think Abel might sue Black for assault or battery, and when Black defends on grounds of title and defense of property, Abel moves to strike because the title defense is barred by adverse possession.
This probably sounds much more complex than you were hoping your rights might be as a squatter, but adverse possession is much more limited and requires a practical investment in legal counsel to assert successfully. I've won a case like that once in then-rural Virginia when I proved that it was considered hostile to hunt eagles on any but your own land in the 1850's, and my client's great-great grandfather had a congratulatory article in the local paper about the bald eagle he shot on the land. If I'd had any opposition, I might well have lost that. Adverse possession and squatters rights are not the same concept.
A: Adverse possession is a claim, not a basis for eviction. It is only after a judge enters an order declaring that titled ownership is not in the name of the claimant/adverse possessor that one can evict others on the land. There are myriad factors to a successful adverse possession claim. But until it is perfected and adjudicated it is the adverse possessor that remains the trespasser who is subject to eviction.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.