Diserio Martin O'Connor & Castiglioni LLP

DMOC Wins Adverse Possession Trial Involving Backcountry Greenwich Horse Farm

February 5, 2016

Richard E. Castiglioni and Jonathan J. Kelson successfully represented a Greenwich homeowner in a dispute with a neighbor over title to more than a half an acre of property that has been used as a residential horse farm since the early 1970s. The disputed property consists of horse paddocks and fencing, stone walls, and a large horse riding ring that was used and maintained by a Greenwich family for 30 years before it was sold to the predecessor of DMOC’s client. However, the disputed property was actually contained in a neighbor’s property description. DMOC’s client bought the property in 2012, and the adverse possession litigation followed.   After an 8-day trial consisting of numerous witnesses, including prior owners, neighbors, and surveyors, and nearly 200 exhibits, the Connecticut Superior Court issued a 45-page decision granting DMOC’s client title to the disputed property. According to the Court, DMOC’s client proved their ownership of the disputed property by adverse possession based on the overwhelming evidence of the existence and use of the horse riding ring and ancillary structures for horse-related activities over the decades. Notably, the Court also rejected the neighbor’s claim that Connecticut’s adverse possession laws are unconstitutional.