Calfee v. Duke

In Calfee v. Duke 544 S.W.2d 640, 20 Tex. Sup. Ct. J. 62 (Tex. 1976), Calfee, an heir to J.H. Duke, occupied approximately 248 fenced acres of land. His deed from his parents did not include 24 of those acres. The other Duke heirs brought a trespass to try title suit, claiming that they and Calfee became co-tenants upon Calfee's parents' death with regard to the 24 undeeded acres. The Court observed that Calfee "never thought of himself as claiming adversely to anyone for the simple reason that he thought he was the rightful owner and had no competition for that ownership." Id. at 642. The Court held that this satisfied the statute's requirement of adverse possession: That being his claim of right, and it being coupled with his actual and visible possession and use, the adverse claim and possession satisfy the statutory requirements and cannot be defeated by Calfee's lack of knowledge of the deficiency of his record title or by the absence of a realization that there could be other claimants for the land. Id.