This week's topic is land disputes. This normally happens between property owners, neighbors, and in some instances, complete strangers. Land disputes are civil matters and cannot be handled by law enforcement. There are a few different types of land disputes. They could be over easements, fences, or property lines. Easements are when someone uses your property to gain access to their property. It could be your driveway or a driveway that they had built on your property. This is one of the most common issues we have in our county is easement issues. Unfortunately, most of these issues are only able to be dealt with in court with attorneys. Another dispute could be over fencing and its position on landlines. Landowners may believe that a fence has been placed on the wrong land, or that it may not be placed on the actual landline. In order to solve this issue, a surveyor has to come out and give positions of property lines. If a survey is not successful in determining a property line, a quiet title lawsuit can be done. A quiet title lawsuit can also be done when two or more people cannot agree on a settlement involving property. There is something called adverse possession in the state of Arkansas which allows a trespasser to take legal ownership over someone else's property. This normally happens when the owner has not been taking care of the property. There are a lot of factors contributing to whether the property manager can take possession of the property, including the amount of time that the property has been neglected, whether the property taxes have been paid, among other things. Adverse possession cannot happen if the original owner has been paying the property taxes.
Unfortunately, law enforcement is not authorized to handle any of these issues. If you are having a land dispute, contact an attorney.