Grooms v. Mitchell

CourtSupreme Court of Alabama
Citation426 So.2d 820
PartiesSam W. GROOMS, Jr. v. James B. MITCHELL and James H. Mitchell. Sam W. GROOMS, Jr. v. John Davis MANN and Laura Jane Mann. 81-448, 81-447.
Decision Date11 February 1983

Michael C. Moore of Watson & Moore, Huntsville, for appellant.

Aubrey O. Lammons of Lammons, Bell & Sneed, Huntsville, for appellees.

EMBRY, Justice.

This is a boundary line case. We affirm.

Plaintiffs James B. Mitchell and James H. Mitchell acquired title to certain real property located in Madison County on 6 November 1980. The north boundary of that property caused the controversy which resulted in the filing of these suits in the nature of ejectment under § 6-6-280, et seq., Code 1975. The Mitchells are record title holders of land bounded on the North by the North line of the Southeast Quarter of the Southeast Quarter of Section 32, Township 5, Range 2 East in Madison County, Alabama. Defendant Sam W. Grooms, Jr., owns adjoining land on the North. The deed to Grooms's property describes its southern boundary adjoining the Mitchells' property as being the quarter-quarter section line. It is described as two acres in the Southwest corner of the Northeast Quarter of the Southeast Quarter of Section 32, Township 5, Range 2 East. In other words, the common boundary between these two tracts of land, according to the parties' deeds, is the quarter-quarter section line lying between the Northeast Quarter of the Southeast Quarter and the Southeast Quarter of the Southeast Quarter of Section 32. Grooms claims to be the owner by adverse possession of a strip of property which lies between the quarter-quarter section line and an old fence line that runs in a general easterly and westerly direction south of the quarter-quarter section line. Thus, Grooms claims, by adverse possession, a strip of land on the south side of the quarter-quarter section line up to which the Mitchells have the record title.

Grooms argues the old fence line which he claims is the true boundary line was recognized as the boundary line between the properties for many years. However, when the Mitchells purchased the land described in their deed, there was no monument, marker or other visible evidence of a claim by Grooms except a single strand of telephone wire that was installed within the past five or six years, next preceding the filing of this suit, and a "No trespassing" sign posted by Grooms near the rear of the disputed property. Such property claimed by Grooms consists primarily of woodlands from which Grooms did clear underbrush from time to time over a period of several years. However, Grooms presented no evidence showing the actual occupancy was clear, definite, positive and notorious.

The Mitchells filed a complaint alleging they are the owners of the disputed property and that Grooms entered upon it, and unlawfully withheld and detained it. 1 Grooms answered by denial and asserted his ownership of the property with a counterclaim asking the court to establish the disputed boundary line as being south of the quarter-quarter section line.

The trial court, after hearing the evidence ore tenus, found the true boundary line between the Mitchells and Grooms to be:

"2. The North boundary of the lands owned by Plaintiffs, and described in their Complaint, is the North boundary of the Southeast Quarter of the Southeast Quarter of Section 32, township 5 South, Range 2 East, Madison County, Alabama.

"3. The South boundary of the lands...

To continue reading

Request your trial
26 cases
  • Cagle v. Hammond
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Civil Appeals
    • September 3, 2010
    ...that there was ‘actual, hostile, open, notorious, exclusive, and continuous' possession for the statutory period. Grooms v. Mitchell, 426 So.2d 820, 822 (Ala.1983). “Alabama recognizes two types of adverse possession: (1) statutory adverse possession pursuant to § 6–5–200, Ala.Code 1975, an......
  • Wadkins v. Melton
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Civil Appeals
    • September 13, 2002
    ...open, notorious, exclusive, and continuous' possession for the statutory period." Henderson, ___ So.2d at ___, quoting Grooms v. Mitchell, 426 So.2d 820, 822 (Ala.1983). "[T]he burden of proof rests upon the party asserting adverse possession, and every presumption is in favor of the holder......
  • Henderson v. Dunn
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Civil Appeals
    • November 16, 2001
    ...that there was "actual, hostile, open, notorious, exclusive, and continuous" possession for the statutory period. Grooms v. Mitchell, 426 So.2d 820, 822 (Ala.1983). Alabama recognizes two types of adverse possession: (1) statutory adverse possession pursuant to § 6-5-200, Ala. Code 1975, an......
  • Wadkins v. Melton
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Civil Appeals
    • June 28, 2002
    ...notorious, exclusive, and continuous' possession for the statutory period." Henderson, ___ So. 2d at ___, quoting Grooms v. Mitchell, 426 So. 2d 820, 822 (Ala. 1983). "[T]he burden of proof rests upon the party asserting adverse possession, and every presumption is in favor of the holder of......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT