Adverse possession = If private individual takes land for required statutory period of time, person will become owner of title through adverse possession
Basic notion that if you have been in possession of land since some determined date in the past you are then the rightful possessor though not the true owner (assize novel disseisin)
Purpose = to resolve evidentiary problems of property ownership.
Should use title to determine ownership, but since paper record not always reliable the determination is made by who is currently occupying land
Adverse Possession serves a useful purpose in 2 contexts:
You are occupying your house and for some reason your deed is gone (i.e. records burned) = only way to show title is to show you’ve been in possession
More often used to resolve boundary line disputes where there was a mistake in delineating boundaries and there is no dispute for years and later someone challenges it = use adverse possession to show you have title