Adams v. Parks – Case Brief Summary (Oklahoma)

In Adams v. Parks, 1967 OK 217, 435 P.2d 122, the property owners acquired equitable title to the property by prescription, having continuously occupied the property for more than 15 years before 1941, when the tax deed holder purchased legal title to the property by resale deed.

However, the resale deed holder did not initiate a suit against the prescriptive property owners within the applicable statute of limitations.

The prescriptive property owners therefore remained in physical possession of the disputed property not only for the fifteen-year prescription period, but also for the duration of the statute of limitations period, which at that time was two years.

The Adams court first recognized that the 15-year prescriptive period could be interrupted and extinguished by a person holding a resale tax deed, which is consistent with the authorities cited above. Adams then held, however, that once the 15-year prescriptive period had passed, and the person holding a resale tax deed failed to seek to quiet title to himself within the applicable statute of limitations, a prescriptive claim could, under those circumstances, supercede title given by a resale tax deed.

"The 15-year period of adverse possession necessary for prescriptive title to realty may be interrupted, and a claim of title based thereon extinguished by a tax resale of the property; but, where such period entirely elapsed, and such claim of title matured, before the 1941 resale, and the prescriptive claimant or his successors in title, thereafter remained in possession until after expiration of the period prescribed by Tit. 12 O.S.1941, s 93(3) for instituting an action for the recovery of real property sold for taxes, the prescriptive claimant's title may be correctly quieted against those claiming under the tax resale deed.