Marengo Cave Co. v. Ross Case Brief

Summary of Marengo Cave Co. v. Ross, Appellant v. Appellee, Civil-1937 S. Ct. Indiana

Facts: Appellant ran a business where people were guided through an opening of the Marengo Cave throughout its course, first discovered in 1883, when purchased. That course ran underneath the property of the appellee’s property some 700 ft. In 1929 a survey was taken and it was determined that the cave extended through the property of Ross who had purchased the property in 1908.

Procedure: Jury trial decided in favor of Appellee. Appellant appealed as to error, claiming verdict is not supported by evidence and is contrary to the law.

Issue: Does the Appellant’s operation of the Marengo Cave Co. constitute adverse possession of the land underneath the appellee’s surface property?

Holding: Appellee’s judgment is affirmed. Appellant has not been in adverse possession of the land of the Appellee.

Ct. Reasoning: Appellant’s use of Marengo Cave was done secretly and not open, visible, notorious, or exclusive, and therefore it constituted trespass. The appellee had no way of knowing that the cave extended below his land and in fact the appellant’s grantors never knew either. Appellee and his predecessors in title at all times have been in actual possession of the land.


Adverse Possession

a) actual;

b) visible;

c) notorious;

d) exclusive;

e) under claim of ownership, and;

f) hostile to the owner, and the world, and;

g) continuous for the full period prescribed by statute.

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