R.D. COLLINS AND NANCY COLLINS APPELLANTS
MOORE FAMILY TRUST 1999 APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 02/01/2017
COUNTY CHANCERY COURT, SECOND JUDICIAL DISTRICT HON. J.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANTS: JAMES CHARLES MARTIN
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: JOHN DENVER FIKE
GRIFFIS, P.J., CARLTON AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.
R.D. and Nancy Collins (the Collinses) own land in Edwards,
Mississippi, adjacent to land owned by the Moore Family Trust
1999 (the Moores). The Moores claimed title to a .62-acre
parcel of land through adverse possession, and the Hinds
County Chancery Court, Second Judicial District, entered a
judgment granting the Moores title of the disputed parcel. On
appeal, the Collinses argue the chancellor erred by finding
the Moores satisfied their burden of proof for adverse
possession. Finding no error, we affirm the chancellor's
As stated, the present dispute focuses on a .62-acre land
parcel. The Collinses claim ownership of the land pursuant to
a deed, and the Moores claim ownership pursuant to adverse
possession. In 1911, the Moores purchased a tract of land
adjacent to the contested parcel. After several ownership
transfers throughout the years, Hezekiah Moore placed his
family's land into a trust in 1999. The Collinses
purchased their land, including the subject parcel, in 1984
from the estate of Howard Gorden. Gorden was Nancy's
great-grandfather, and he obtained his land, including the
subject parcel, around the same time that the Moores
purchased their tract.
In 2015, the Collinses and Hezekiah obtained land surveys.
The Collinses obtained their survey in August 2015, and
Hezekiah obtained his survey a few months later in December
2015. Both surveys showed the contested parcel was within the
Collinses' deed description. However, the survey obtained
by Hezekiah indicated the parcel might belong to the Moores
by adverse possession. On January 29, 2016, Hezekiah filed a
complaint asserting ownership of the disputed parcel and
argued that his family had adversely possessed the land since
At a September 27, 2016 hearing, undisputed evidence showed a
fence had existed on two of the three sides of the parcel
since around 1911. The fence's placement resulted in the
parcel being fenced in along with the Moores' property.
However, both R.D. and Nancy testified that their
predecessors had granted the Moores permission to use the
land and that they had then extended this permission to the
Moores after purchasing the land in 1984.
Both R.D. and Hezekiah testified at the hearing that R.D.
asked Hezekiah about the fence placement after the Collinses
purchased their land in 1984. However, the testimony differed
as to the conversation's content and outcome. Hezekiah
testified that he stated his grandfather and Nancy's
great-grandfather had agreed on the property line and the
fence's placement many years ago. According to Hezekiah,
the fence's original placement predated his birth.
However, he testified that his family's cattle had grazed
on the land for as long as he could remember. He further
stated that his family had allowed third parties to use the
land for cattle grazing.
As stated, in December 2015, Hezekiah obtained the survey of
his family's land indicating that the disputed parcel
might belong to the Moores through adverse possession. After
receiving the survey, Hezekiah replaced the old fence on the
parcel with a new one and placed "No Trespassing"
signs on the land.
R.D. testified that he and Nancy bought their land, including
the disputed parcel, in 1984. R.D. stated that they had paid
taxes on the parcel each year. After their land purchase,
R.D. asked Hezekiah about the fence's placement on the
parcel. R.D. testified that Hezekiah said the Gordens agreed
to let the Moores build the fence in its present location.
R.D. further testified that Hezekiah told him they should let
the fence stay in its present location. R.D. stated he agreed
to the fence's placement because he benefitted by not
having the upkeep on the parcel. Like ...