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They planted a garden there and stacked their firewood. They held parties there and walked the land so often they wore a path in the grass.
In 2006, Richard McLean and Edith Stevens claimed the land as their own under Colorado's adverse possession law, once known as "squatters' rights."
In October, a district judge awarded them one-third of the lot, which its owner values at $1 million."
a retired judge and his lawyer wife
It's good to know the law.
This happened to some friends of my parents a few years ago. And it wasn't a vacant lot -- it was their side yard. Neighbors claimed to have tended the "garden" between their houses, which was really just a strip of trees and natural vegetation.
All word-of-mouth evidence, and the judge awarded the neighbors a sizable swath of the yard. They did win it back on appeal however.
I think even i they had given him permission it would have been fine. Those (you know what) essentially claimed that the land was essentially forgotten /not tended to.
Does one have to have an no-trespassing sign? Also, a problem might be if the land became technically "theirs" by virtue of using it x years ago and the statue of limitations has passed.