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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:In the 1920s, developers subdivided land on what is now Case Street in the city of West University Place into lots 55 feet wide. But during construction in the 1930s and 1940s, several houses were built on the mistaken assumption that the lots were only 50 feet wide. As a result, each house was increasingly shifted to the east side of its lot, until the house on Lot 5 was built next to that lot’s eastern boundary with Lot 6. This case concerns a driveway built on a 20-foot strip of land just east of that boundary, a strip that everyone assumed was on Lot 5, but was actually on Lot 6. When Lillian Haliburton bought Lot 5 in 1970, Lot 6 was owned by her brother’s family, the Buddes. For many years, both families used the driveway on the disputed strip. The driveway led to a garage built on both lots, which Haliburton used for parking and storage. Although Haliburton was no longer living at the time of trial, family members presumed mistakenly that the driveway and garage belonged to Lot 5. In 1995, the Buddes sold Lot 6 to the defendants, Minh Thu Tran and Norman L. Roser. In 2001, Haliburton sold Lot 5 to the plaintiffs, William and Nita Macha, who already owned Lot 4 to the west. During the latter transaction, a survey revealed that the driveway was not a part of Lot 5, so the Machas secured a quitclaim deed conveying any interest Haliburton might have acquired in the strip by adverse possession. When Tran and Roser learned of the survey, they obtained a permit and erected a fence around the strip. This suit ensued. A jury found the strip had passed by adverse possession to Haliburton and thence to the Machas. The 1st Court of Appeals affirmed. HOLDING:Reversed and rendered. Adverse possession, the Texas Supreme Court stated, requires an actual and visible appropriation of real property, commenced and continued under a claim of right that is inconsistent with and is hostile to the claim of another person. Examining the “hostile” requirement, the court explained that such use does not require an intention to dispossess the rightful owner or even knowledge that there is one. But, the court stated, there must be an intention to claim property as one’s own to the exclusion of all others and not merely occupy it. The Machas failed to present evidence, the court stated, that Haliburton ever intended to exclude the Buddes or that they used the driveway only with her express permission. OPINION:Per curiam.

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