Adverse Possession in Colorado | Boulder Real Estate Attorney
As a Boulder real estate attorney James Newell has found that an acute understanding of the law, an eye for detail, and broad experience are necessary to be able to identify and resolve the dizzying variety of complex, often archaic legal issues that may come up in any given real estate transaction, dispute, or lawsuit. Adverse possession is one of the areas for which those traits are especially helpful.
Adverse possession is a means to acquire legal title to real estate due to an actual trespass that was adverse to the defendant, hostile, under a claim of right, exclusive, and uninterrupted for the statutory period. In Colorado, the trespass must have been uninterrupted for 18 years or more. C.R.S. § 38-41-101(1).
In 2008 the Colorado General Assembly passed House Bill 08-1148, which was enacted with the broad goal of making adverse possession more difficult to prove and less attractive to potential claimants. The bill was passed and signed into law following a Boulder court’s adverse possession ruling in favor of plaintiffs who asserted title to a one-third share of their neighbors’ adjoining vacant lot, which was valued at around $1,000,000. Essentially, the bill (1) raises the standard of proof required to establish all of the elements of the case on new claims from a preponderance of the evidence to the higher standard of clear and convincing evidence, (2) for claims vesting on or after July 1, 2008 requires a good faith belief by the trespasser that he or she owned the land to begin with, and (3) gives judges the authority in successful claims to order the claimant to pay for the land and pay for the 18 years or more of back property taxes and interest.
There is a lot that goes into adverse possession claims. They are complicated, relatively rare, and difficult to establish. That being said, adverse possession still exists because it has the potential to serve the interests of justice in certain circumstances. If you believe you may have a claim for adverse possession, or if you are being sued or threatened with a suit for adverse possession, it is important to have the right real estate attorney with in-depth knowledge of Colorado law on your side. Call Newell Law today to set up an appointment regarding your potential claim or defense of adverse possession.
If you are looking for a Boulder Real Estate Attorney with a results oriented approach tailored to your matter’s specific needs, contact Newell Law. We have the experience and knowledge to achieve the best results possible for you case.