We have all heard that “possession is nine-tenths of the law,” yet is the true? The expression likely originated v an old Scottish proverb the “possession is eleven point out in the law, and they say they are however twelve.” In America, the principle was used to decide an early dispute in the well-known feud between the Hatfields and McCoys. In 1878, Floyd Hatfield and Randolph McCoy had actually a heated disagreement over the property of part pigs that had actually wondered top top Floyd Hatfield’s farm. Can not to settle their dispute, they brought the matter prior to a local justice the the peace, Preacher Anderson Hatfield. Through the testimony divided between the respective clans, Preacher Hatfield relied on the “nine-tenths” principle when he ruled the the hogs must stay v the party in possession, Mr. Hatfield. Of course, the truth the Preacher common a critical name with Floyd might have also influenced his decision. The McCoy household was obviously not impressed by the Preacher’s decision, as their feud v the Hatfields continued until at least 1901 (and to be briefly revitalized during a 1979 appearance on the popular game show Family Feud).

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While contemporary courts perform not formally watch the “nine-tenths that the law” principle, possession still matters today. In 1998, a Texas court identified the “nine-tenths” principle but made clear the 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 if possession (in that case of a motor vehicle) trumps the case of a party who has neither record title no one possession, mere possession is low grade to the claims of a party having actually record title to the property.

The prestige of possession on insurance claims to residential or commercial property is still reflect in at the very least a couple of legitimate doctrines. The theory of “adverse possession” awards legal title to real home to a party that has actually continuously inhabited land in spite of title to that residential or commercial property being organized by an additional party.

The duration for i beg your pardon an adverse possessor should occupy real home varies native state come state. Possession is likewise important to the “rule the capture.” Historically, this rule applied to give ownership the game animals to the first person to capture the animal. In much more recent times, that has applied to offer title to herbal resources, like oil and gas, come the an initial person to take it possession the the resource.

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In conclusion, while having actually possession of property rarely harms your claim, it is far from definitive. As soon as in doubt, speak to your lawyer.