Tenney v. Luplow

In Tenney v. Luplow, 103 Ariz. 363, 442 P.2d 107 (1968), Luplow, who had been living in a house with the permission of the owner, was given the abstract of title to the property and told that it belonged to her. She therefore continued to occupy the home, paying taxes and making improvements, for more than the ten years required to take title by adverse possession. After the death of the donor of the land, the donor's estate attempted to retake the property, but Luplow successfully sued to quiet title by adverse possession. The supreme court affirmed the judgment in her favor, stating: Parol gifts of land are within the Statute of Frauds ... yet plaintiff is not precluded from asserting her adverse claim even though she mistakenly thought her title was perfected by the delivery of the abstract of title. The character of plaintiff's possession is the crucial turning point here. Id. The supreme court explained that a mistake as to one's right of possession is not determinative. The intention to take possession is the test by which adverse possession is judged, and the court cited with approval cases from other jurisdictions in which it was held that "entry on land under a parol gift can nevertheless be adverse as against the true owner." Id.