ESTATE OF MINNIE BELL WOODARD V. JAMES W. FRANKLIN, ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jan 14, 2014

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Dean Robinson, Mount Juliet, Tennessee, for the appellant, James W. Franklin.

Attorneys 2:

Jamie Douglas Winkler, Jack O. Bellar, Carthage, Tennessee, for the appellee, Diane Murray, Executrix of the Estate of Minnie Bell Woodard.

Judge(s): COTTRELL

A widow filed a complaint seeking a determination of the proper owner of a tract of real property held in her husband’s name. The widow lived on the property for over twenty years after her husband died. She believed she was the proper owner until she became interested in selling the property and learned her name was not on the deed. The trial court ruled the widow acquired the property by common law adverse possession, and one of the husband’s heirs-at-law appealed. The husband’s great nephew asserted the widow had permission to remain on the property, and, therefore, could not obtain title through adverse possession. We disagree and affirm the trial court’s judgment. The widow possessed and used the property openly and exclusively for over twenty years, thereby putting the world on notice that she claimed ownership of the property.

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