It Was My Land First!
In 1880s Arizona, a dispute arose between the Tewksburys (a family of sheepherders) and the Grahams (a family of cattle ranchers) over the borders of their land. Both sides claimed that the other family let its animals loose on their land and tore it up so that it couldn’t be used for grazing. Over the years, the tensions between these two families grew to the point of an all-out conflict known as the Pleasant Valley War. The feud involved locals from the surrounding areas and even brought in mercenaries and gunslingers to bolster their sides. Over time, it’s estimated that the Tewksbury-Graham land feud claimed the lives of as many as 20 people.
This is one of many famous feuds from the pages of history and while a bit of an extreme, it does highlight the messy nature of property or land disputes.
Disputes over land, boundaries, titles and usage still exist today and the effects of these disputes can linger for long periods of time.
Today, solutions exist for these types of disputes. One of them, called Quiet Title Action, is designed to establish or clarify a party’s right of ownership of a piece of property against anyone else’s claim. This is known as ‘quieting’ all other challenges or claims to the title of the property. This action helps resolve disagreements on a title.
There are many grounds that can warrant a quiet title action, but here are some of the more common:
When a lien was held by a particular entity or person and was satisfied, but remained on the title due to recording errors. Or when a missing heir holds claim to a title.
When municipality may claim title as a result of unpaid taxes that can jeopardize a new purchaser’s ability to retain clear title.
These often arise between neighboring parties, but can also involve state or local government and a property owner.
When an older survey is inaccurate or unclear.
If you find yourself in a situation involving a claim against your title, you should consult an attorney trained in real estate law about your options. The team of Hall, Ricketts, Schuller & Gurbacki, P.C. can represent businesses and private parties alike in resolving these issues. Contact us today online or by calling 716-652-0828 to schedule an experienced and understanding consultation.
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