All Content

Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jan 24, 2014

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Andrew J. Brown, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jerry S. Johnston, Sr.

Attorneys 2:

Travis D. Henry, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellee, Teresa Vincent.

Judge(s): FRIERSON

This boundary line dispute involves a five-acre parcel of real property (“Disputed Property”) in McMinn County to which the petitioner and respondent, who own adjoining parcels, both claim ownership. The petitioner filed a petition to quiet title, requesting that she be declared the owner of the Disputed Property, and for declaratory judgment as to damages she claimed as a result of the respondent’s alleged trespass, encroachment, and harvesting of timber. The respondent filed a counter-petition, alleging that he was the rightful owner of the Disputed Property; raising affirmative defenses of waiver/estoppel, champerty, and adverse possession; and requesting damages for the petitioner’s alleged encroachment and destruction of boundary markers. Following a bench trial, the trial court declared the petitioner the owner of the Disputed Property, dismissed the respondent’s counter-petition, and dismissed all claims for damages. The respondent appeals. We affirm the trial court’s finding that title to the Disputed Property is vested in the petitioner. We determine, however, that the respondent has established the statutory defense of adverse possession, pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated § 28-2-103 (2000), only to the extent that certain improvements encroach upon the Disputed Property, and we reverse upon this ground. We remand to the trial court for determination as to the extent of the encroachments. We affirm the trial court’s judgment in all other respects.