All Content

Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Mar 18, 2015

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Clinton H. Swafford, Winchester, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jimmy Stubblefield.

Attorneys 2:

Tracy C. Wooden and Warren J. Yemm, II, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, Randall Wayne Summers.

Judge(s): CLEMENT

At issue is the ownership of property along the boundary of two large tracts of mountain land in Franklin County, Tennessee. After Plaintiff commenced this action seeking to establish the boundary line, Defendant asserted that he owned the property by adverse possession; Defendant additionally asserted that Plaintiff was barred by Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-2-110 from asserting any affirmative claim to the property because Plaintiff had not paid property taxes on the property in dispute for 20 years. The trial court found that Plaintiff had not paid taxes on the disputed property for 20 years and, based on this finding of fact, ruled that Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-2-110 barred Plaintiff from asserting an affirmative claim to the property. Nevertheless, the court also ruled that Plaintiff was entitled to defend his title against Defendant’s claim of ownership. Following a bench trial, the court concluded that Defendant failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he and his predecessors in interest obtained title to the property by adverse possession and ruled that Plaintiff owned the property. We affirm.