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Rester v. Greenleaf Res., Inc.

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

April 7, 2015

SYLVIA DAVIS RESTER AND L.B. DAVIS, APPELLANTS
v.
GREENLEAF RESOURCES, INC., APPELLEE

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: PEARL RIVER COUNTY CHANCERY COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 02/03/2014. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. DAWN H. BEAM. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: REMOVED CLOUD FROM APPELLEE/DEFENDANT'S TITLE AND HELD THAT APPELLANTS/PLAINTIFFS FAILED TO ESTABLISH OWNERSHIP BY ADVERSE POSSESSION OF DISPUTED PROPERTY.

REVERSED AND REMANDED.

FOR APPELLANTS: JACK PARSONS, TADD PARSONS, DAWN SMITH.

FOR APPELLEE: MORAN M. POPE III.

BEFORE IRVING, P.J., ISHEE AND CARLTON, JJ. LEE, C.J., GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES, ISHEE, ROBERTS, CARLTON, MAXWELL, FAIR AND JAMES, JJ., CONCUR.

OPINION

Page 744

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - REAL PROPERTY

IRVING, P. J.

¶1. Plaintiffs Sylvia Davis Rester and L.B. Davis appeal from the Pearl River County Chancery Court's judgment where, after a bench trial, the trial court found that Sylvia and L.B. did not acquire title to 19.6 acres by adverse possession and, further, removed all clouds and quieted and confirmed title in favor of Defendant Greenleaf Resource Inc. (Greenleaf).

¶2. Finding error, we reverse and remand.

FACTS

¶3. On January 16, 2004, L.O. Crosby III conveyed, by warranty deed, a total of 297.61 acres of land located in Pearl River County, Mississippi, to Greenleaf. Greenleaf recorded the deed from Crosby in the Pearl River County Chancery Clerk's office on January 20, 2004. Included in the 297.61 acres is the 19.6-acre tract that is the subject of this suit (disputed property). On November 9, 2012, siblings Sylvia and L.B. filed a complaint[1] alleging adverse possession of the 19.6 acres situated in the northwest quarter of the northeast quarter of the northeast quarter of northwest quarter of Section 2, Township 4 South, Range 14 West, Pearl River County, Mississippi, claiming that they, through tacking onto the claim of their father, Robert Davis, have owned of the 19.60-acre tract since 1919, when Robert acquired title to five acres of land located adjacent to the disputed property. Greenleaf filed a counter-complaint to remove cloud and to quiet and confirm title to its entire land, which it argued included the disputed property.

¶4. At trial, Herbert Gentry, a land manager for the Crosby property who served as a forester for the St. Regis Paper Company[2] from 1960 to 1982, testified that the general public referred to the disputed land as the " Rob Davis property." Herbert explained that, as a forester, he was given a ...


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