End Adverse Possession Laws in West Virginia
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I have recently learned a term that is very offensive. The term you ask? ADVERSE POSSESSION! Why is this offensive? Look it up, it is basically government sanctioned theft of your property by your neighbor or a potential squatter. The mere fact that this antiquated law is on the books makes it seem as though we are still shooting trespassers and hangin' cattle thieves. Basically, it breaks down to the fact that if a neighbor or other non-authorized person trespasses on your property and utilizes it for a period of ten years without challenge, they can lay claim to your land (or at least file a law suit in an attempt and cost you money to defend what is lawfully yours by deed/contract and payment).
You may ask how someone can take possession of your property without your knowledge. Well, it's pretty easy when you own a large parcel of land which includes fields and wooded areas that are not marked with boundaries, fences, walls, or motes to clearly delineate property lines. However, once the true property owner notices this or it is brought to their attention by the thief or their attorney, they are now put in a position of having to hire an attorney to defend their property from a hostile take-over.
I have recently become a victim of this unethical and immoral law due to a neighbor trying to lay claim to nearly an acre of my property based on cutting the grass. Although she did attempt to erect a fence at the direction of her attorney. I purchased my property legally and with hard earned money for the purpose of providing a good life for my family and an opportunity for my children to experience life on a farm and learn what it means to work for what you have.
My neighbor knows where the property line is as she had a survey done. When I attempted to construct a fence after she asked to purchase a parcel of land or make a land swap, she demanded that I have a survey to ensure that I only constructed on my property. I did so and found that I was clearly within the boundaries of my property; that her survey was accurate; and the area that she had previously indicated was accurate (meaning she knows where the line is!)
If you have ever experienced this yourself, know someone who has, or at least have some sympathy and compassion for my situation, I only ask that you sign this petition and share it with others. If you would like to go a step further, please call you local representatives and ask for them to make a change. Thank you and God bless.
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