Permissive Use Defeated Adverse Possession Claim.

The plaintiff and defendant were brothers who owned adjacent family properties that had once belonged to their parents. The plaintiff owned the farm house and one acre of property. The defendant and his wife owned the surrounding farmland. In 1996, the plaintiff, with the defendant’s permission, razed a barn on the defendant’s property and replaced it with a pole shed for his own use. A water well on the defendant’s property also serviced the plaintiff’s property. After 2010, a dispute arose between the brothers when the plaintiff refused to allow the defendant to drive his large manure tanker on a blacktop driveway the plaintiff had constructed between the two properties. In response to the dispute, the plaintiff filed an action against the defendant and his wife, arguing that he was entitled to approximately one-half acre of the defendants’ property under an adverse possession theory. The trial court entered judgment for the plaintiff, but the appellate court reversed. The court ruled that the plaintiff had failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the common law elements of adverse possession had been established. The court ruled that because the plaintiff had used the property with the permission of his brother, his claim was defeated. Moreover, the plaintiff had not used all of the contested property for the 20-year period required by state (WI) law.   Rudnick v. Rudnick, No. 2014AP2893, 2015 Wisc. App. LEXIS 796 (Wis. Ct. App. Nov. 10, 2015).