We have actually all heard that “possession is nine-tenths of the law,” yet is the true? The expression most likely originated through an old Scottish proverb the “possession is eleven points in the law, and also they to speak they are but twelve.” In America, the rule was applied to decide an early dispute in the renowned feud between the Hatfields and also McCoys. In 1878, Floyd Hatfield and also Randolph McCoy had actually a heated disagreement over the ownership of some pigs that had actually wondered onto Floyd Hatfield’s farm. Unable to deal with their dispute, they lugged the matter before a regional justice that the peace, Preacher Anderson Hatfield. V the testimony divided between the particular clans, Preacher Hatfield relied on the “nine-tenths” principle as soon as he ruled the the hogs need to stay v the party in possession, Mr. Hatfield. The course, the truth the Preacher common a critical name through Floyd may have additionally influenced his decision. The McCoy family members was obviously not impressed through the Preacher’s decision, as their feud v the Hatfields continued until at least 1901 (and to be briefly restored during a 1979 appearance on the well-known game show Family Feud).

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While contemporary courts carry out not formally observe the “nine-tenths of the law” principle, possession still problem today. In 1998, a Texas court identified the “nine-tenths” principle but made clear that possession is merely component of a “hierarchy of title.” In re Garza, 984 S.W.2d 344 (Tex. App.–Amarillo 1998). The Garza court found that while possession (in that instance of a motor vehicle) trumps the insurance claim of a party who has neither document title nor possession, just possession is subordinate to the claims of a party having record title to the property.

The importance of possession on cases to residential or commercial property is still reflected in at least a pair of legal doctrines. The doctrine of “adverse possession” awards legal location to real residential property to a party that has continuously lived in land regardless of title come that building being held by another party.

The period for i beg your pardon an adverse possessor have to occupy real residential or commercial property varies from state to state. Possession is also important to the “rule the capture.” Historically, this rule applied to give ownership that game animals to the very first person to capture the animal. In more recent times, it has applied to offer title to organic resources, favor oil and also gas, to the first person to take it possession that the resource.

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In conclusion, while having actually possession of property rarely hurts your claim, it is far from definitive. When in doubt, contact your lawyer.