Adverse Possession Wyoming Case Law

Presumption of Adverse Possession

In order to establish adverse possession, the claiming party must show actual, open, notorious, exclusive and continuous possession of another's property which is hostile and under claim of right or color of title.

Possession must be for the statutory period, ten years.

When there is no clear showing to the contrary, a person who has occupied the land for the statutory period, in a manner plainly indicating that he has acted as the owner thereof, is entitled to a presumption of adverse possession; and the burden shifts to the opposing party to explain such possession.

However, if a claimant's use of the property is shown to be permissive, then he cannot acquire title by adverse possession. Hillard v. Marshall, 888 P.2d 1255, 1258-59 (Wyo. 1995) .

We have described the effect of a fence of convenience on a presumption of adverse possession in this way:

In some circumstances, enclosing land in a fence is sufficient to "raise the flag" of an adverse claimant.

However, a fence kept simply for convenience has no effect upon the true boundary between tracts of land.

This is so because a fence of convenience creates a permissive use, and a permissive user

"cannot change his possession into adverse title no matter how long possession may be continued, in the absence of a clear, positive and continuous disclaimer and disavowal of the title of the true owner brought home to the latter's knowledge; there must be either actual notice of the hostile claims or acts or declarations of hostility so manifest and notorious that actual notice will be presumed in order to change a permissive or otherwise non-hostile possession into one that is hostile." Kimball v. Turner, 993 P.2d 303, 306 (Wyo. 1999) (quoting Hillard, 888 P.2d at 1261).