Adverse Possession in Illinois


Adverse possession is a legal doctrine that allows a trespasser to gain legal title over property, thereby replacing its true owner, so long as certain elements are met. In order to gain legal title over property through the doctrine of adverse possession, a party must prove that his or her possession of the land was:

(1) Continuous;

(2) Hostile;

(3) Actual;

(4) Open, notorious, and exclusive; and

(5) Under claim of title inconsistent with that of the true owner for a period of 20 years.

See Tapley v. Peterson, 141 Ill.App.3d 401, 405 (1986).

Each of the five aforementioned elements must exist concurrently for the full 20-year period for the doctrine of adverse possession to be applied. Adverse possession can be an extremely technical doctrine, as all presumptions are in favor the original title-owner. If you believe you have met the elements for adverse possession, and are seeking the legal expertise necessary gain legal title for the land, contact the skilled attorneys at Ball & McCann, P.C. today.

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