Real Estate Litigation

What is a Petition to Quiet Title?
A petition to quiet title gets filed when someone holding an interest in real estate becomes aware of an adverse claim against that interest in real estate. To resolve that adverse claim, or “quiet” the title, a party can seek judicial relief and obtain a court order to file in the registry of deeds. These types of cases follow the processes of the civil rules of procedure common in civil litigation. You should consider seeking legal advice to properly file a complaint to “remove the cloud from title.” A properly drafted complaint will establish sufficient facts in support of the plaintiff’s claim.

What is adverse possession?
Adverse possession occurs when a person uses your property without permission in an open, visible, continuous and exclusive manner for a period of twenty years. Thus, obtaining title by adverse possession may be easier said than done. For instance, a person’s sporadic entry or use of your property should not meet the requirements. Instead, the entrant’s occupancy has to be exclusive – so much so that you had a semblance of notice to be able to object within the 20-year time period. If someone fenced in your property and cut down trees on your land, then they could probably obtain title by adverse possession if you do nothing about it for 20 years.

New Hampshire law states that “[n]o action for the recovery of real estate shall be brought after 20 years from the time the right to recover first accrued to the party claiming it or to some persons under whom he claims.” In other words, according to our state’s Supreme Court, “after an adverse possessor possesses land for twenty years in a manner and under a claim adverse to that of the actual owner, the owner can no longer bring an action to recover the land, and title passes to the adverse possessor.”