CHARLES E. STASHER AND SARAH EULA STASHER APPELLANTS
PATRICIA ANN PERRY, EXECUTRIX OF THE ESTATE OF RANDY ARCHIE SPRINGER, DECEASED APPELLEE
of Judgment: 07/15/2015
FROM WHICH APPEALED: MADISON COUNTY CHANCERY COURT HON.
CYNTHIA L. BREWER TRIAL JUDGE.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANTS: SANDRA STASHER.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: JAMES M. CREWS III.
GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES AND CARLTON, JJ.
The Chancery Court of Madison County granted Randy Archie
Springer's complaint for adverse possession and to
confirm and quiet title and denied Charles E. Stasher and
Sarah Eula Stasher's counterclaim to remove cloud on
title and to quiet and confirm title by adverse
possession. The Stashers now appeal. We find no error
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On April 28, 1983, Fulton Cannon executed a warranty deed to
Charles and Sarah Stasher, which conveyed certain real
property located in Madison County, Mississippi. The Stashers
used proceeds from a Farmers Home Administration loan to
purchase the property. Because the Stashers intended to run
cattle on the property, they were required to fence in the
property as a condition of the loan. The Stashers did not
obtain a boundary survey. Instead, the Stashers met with
Cannon, who pointed out the line where the Stashers should
place the fence. The fence was built shortly after the
Stashers purchased the property.
From 1983 to 1992, Cannon and the Stashers were neighbors. In
1992, following the death of Cannon, Cannon's wife, along
with others, conveyed their interest in the Cannon property
to John Wilson. Following Wilson's death, the property
was devised to Ben Wilson, Stephen Wilson, and Gregory Wilson
by Last Will and Testament dated December 10, 1992.
On February 22, 2005, Stephen Wilson executed a warranty
deed, which conveyed to Randy Archie Springer an undivided
83.34% interest in the property. On October 26, 2006, Rosa
Lee Milton executed a warranty deed, which conveyed to
Springer the remaining 16.66% undivided interest in the
The Springer property adjoins and is immediately east of the
Stasher property. The fence built by the Stashers in 1983 was
actually constructed east of and parallel to the true west
line of the Stasher property. As a result, the fence is
located on property formerly owned by Cannon but, through the
previously described conveyances, is now owned by Springer.
The land in dispute is located on the west side of the
Springer property, immediately east of the east line of the
Stasher property. This disputed property is approximately 3,
332 feet long and 30 feet wide, and comprises approximately
2.29 acres. It is undisputed that Springer is the legal owner
of and has record title to the disputed property.
On August 1, 2007, Springer filed a Complaint for Adverse
Possession and to Confirm and Quiet Title. On September 4,
2007, the Stashers filed an Answer and Counterclaim to Remove
Cloud on Title and to Quiet and Confirm Title by Adverse
Possession. On March 17, 2015, a bench trial was held before
the Chancery Court of Madison County, during which all
parties appeared and were represented by counsel.
On July 15, 2015, the chancery court entered its opinion and
final judgment wherein it granted Springer's complaint,
denied the Stashers' counterclaim, found Springer to be
the exclusive owner of the disputed property, and confirmed
and quieted title in Springer. The Stashers filed a motion
for reconsideration, amendment of findings of fact and
conclusions of law, and entry of a new final judgment, which
the chancery court denied.
The Stashers now appeal and argue: (1) the chancery court
erred in finding Cannon gave the Stashers permission to
construct a fence and, as a result, the Stashers cannot claim
adverse possession for the time period that Cannon owned the
property, (2) the chancery court erred in finding that, by
2003, the fence was no longer in good repair, sufficient to
put John Wilson and his predecessor in title, Stephen Wilson,
on notice of the Stashers' claim of ownership, and (3)
the chancery court erred in finding Springer held himself out
as the owner of the property in such a way that
Springer's and his predecessors' claims were
sufficient to establish open, notorious, visible, exclusive,
continuous, and uninterrupted possession of the land for the
statutory ten-year period.
"[O]ur appellate review of the chancellor's decision
is limited." Apperson v. White, 950 So.2d 1113,
1116 (¶4) (Miss. Ct. App. 2007). We "will not
disturb the findings of a chancellor when supported by
substantial evidence unless the chancellor abused his
discretion, was manifestly wrong, clearly erroneous, or an
erroneous legal standard was applied." Id.
Adverse possession requires the claimant to prove that his
possession or occupancy was: (1) under claim of ownership,
(2) actual and hostile, (3) open, notorious, and visible, (4)
continuous and uninterrupted for a period of ten years, (5)
exclusive, and (6) peaceful. Rice v. Pritchard, 611
So.2d 869, 871 (Miss. 1992). To succeed on a claim of adverse
possession, the claimant must prove each of the elements by
clear and convincing evidence. Id.
I.Whether the chancery court erred in finding Cannon gave
the Stashers permission to construct the fence and, as a
result, the Stashers cannot claim adverse possession for ...