Nome 2000 v. Fagerstrom – 799 P.2d 304 (Alaska 1990)

Case Name: Nome 2000 v. Fagerstrom
Plaintiff: Nome 2000
Defendant: Charles and Peggy Fagerstrom
Citation: 799 P.2d 304 (Alaska 1990)

Issue: Whether the defendants acquired the southern portion of the land in dispute when their only activities included the use of the pre-existing trails and picking up litter.

Key Facts: 7 ½ acres in dispute. Record title which includes the disputed parcel is held by Nome 2000. In 1978 the defendants built a cabin on the north end of the disputed parcel. The plaintiff admits that from the time the cabin was place until it filed this suit (1987), the defendants adversely possessed the north end of the disputed parcel.

Procedural History: Nome 2000 filed suit to eject defendants. The defendant’s counterclaimed that through their use of the parcel they had acquired title by adverse possession.

Holding: The defendant did not acquire the property through adverse possession on the southern portion of the land because absent color of title, only property actually possessed may be acquired by adverse possession.

Judgment: The plaintiffs did not adversely possess the southern portion of the land in dispute. The case was remanded to the trial court in order to determine the extent of the defendant’s acquisition (northern portion).

Alaska adverse possession:
1. Ten year period
2.  Continuous
3. Open and notorious
4. Exclusive and hostile to the true owner