October 28, 2015

The Appellate Division, Second Department has upheld the dismissal of a neighbor’s adverse possession claim in Birch Tree Partners, LLC v. Windsor Digital Studio, LLC.  In that case, the plaintiff had attempted to claim title to a portion of the defendant’s property by arguing that it performed “usual cultivation” of the disputed area through landscaping maintenance.  The plaintiff also had not owned the property for the required 10-year adverse possession period, so it argued that it was entitled to “tack on” to the alleged prior possession of its predecessor.  The Appellate Division rejected both of those arguments, finding insufficient proof of the level of cultivation required to support an adverse possession claim, as well as a lack of proof of intent (on the predecessor’s part) to transfer possession of the disputed area to the plaintiff, so as to support a claim of “tacking.”