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plaintiffs; that a defense of the statute bar is an affirmative one, and should be proved like any other affirmative defense.

The court held, however, as before stated, that there is no presumption of title in favor of the people, against the actual occupant of land, until it is shown that the possession has been vacant within forty years.

It has also been held, that, whatever will constitute an adverse possession within the meaning of the statute relating to individuals, if continued forty years under the provision relating to action by the people, gives to the person in possession a perfect title as against the people. It is supposed from certain provisions of the Revised Statutes, and the revisor's notes to section 14 of title 17, of chapter 8, of part 3 of the Revised Statutes, that the legislature intended to put an end to prerogative; and that the same rules should be applied to an action between the people and a citizen, as between one citizen and another. (The People v. Clarke, 10 Barb. 120.) The original note of the revisors, referred to, is to the following effect : “ The course of legislation has very wisely swept away almost every prerogative of the crown, except that of ubiquity in courts. The statute of limitations is extended to the claims and demands of the people, and they are made liable for costs in certain cases; and it is believed they ought not to have any exemption from the ordinary course of justice." (3 R. S. 2d ed. 778.)

The doctrine of adverse possession in the state of New York had become pretty well settled at the time the Revised Statutes took effect in 1830. Upon this subject the revisors said: “The rules respecting adverse possession are rather subtle and refined; but they have been so long the subjects of judicial exposition, that many of them can now be stated with clearness and precision. In conformity to the uniform practice of the revisors, they propose to fix those rules by legislative enactment: 1, because they are essential to an understanding of the statute of limitations; 2, that they may be made permanent, and preserved from the fluctuations of opinions; and, 3, that the community at large may have the means of knowing the most important laws respecting the enjoyment of their property.” (3 R. S. 2d ed., 699.) But any extended remarks upon the subject of adverse possession will be reserved for another part of this work.

The statute of limitations, with respect to real property does not begin to run from the time the tenant came into possession,


but from the time of his holding adversely. If, therefore, a party enters without claim or color of title, and afterward obtain a good or colorable title, the adverse possession will commence from that period. (Jackson v. Parker, 3 Johns. Ch. R. 124. Jackson v. Thompson, 16 Johns. R. 273. Jackson v. Newton, 18 ib. 355.)

Neither does the law allow successive disabilities of different persons taking the same estate by devise or descent from each other. Hence, when an adverse possession begins to run in the life-time of the ancestor, it continues to run, though the land descends to a person under a disability. (Carpenter v. Schemerhorn, 2 Barb. Ch. R. 314. Jackson v. Moore, 13 Johns. R. 513. Jackson v. Robins, 15 ib. 169.) Upon this principle, where a female having an interest in real estate is under a disability in her lifetime, by reason of coverture, which prevented her bringing an action of ejectment, her heirs must bring their suit within ten years after her death, and where one of these heirs was also a feme covert at the death of her mother, it was held that that circumstance would not have the effect to extend the period within which the ejectment must be brought. (Carpenter v. Schemerhorn, supra.)

It has been definitely held, that under the statute of limitations of New York, if an adverse possession commence in the lifetime of the ancestor, it will continue to run against the heir, notwithstanding any existing disability on the part of the latter, when the right accrues to him or her. (Fleming v. Griswold, 3 Hill's

R. 85.)

Although an alien may not acqnire title to real estate, as against the true owner, by adverse possession of twenty years, claiming title thereto in himself, yet the statute of limitations will furnish a perfect defense to an action of ejectment against him by a true owner. (Overing v. Russell, 32 Barb. R. 263.)

By the laws of New Jersey, no person who has, or may have any right or title of entry into any lands, tenements or hereditaments, can make any entry therein, but within twenty years next after such right or title shall accrue, and such person is barred from any entry afterward ; and every real, possessory, ancestral, mixed, or other action, for any lands, tenements, or hereditaments, must be brought or instituted within twenty years next after the right or title thereto, or cause of such action shall accrue, and not after; provided, always, that the time during which the person who has, or shall have such right or title, or cause of action, shall have been under the age of twenty-one years, feme covert, or insane, shall not be taken or computed as part of the said limited period of twenty years. It is further provided, that no person or persons, bodies politic or corporate, shall be sued or impleaded by the state of New Jersey, for any lands, tenements or hereditaments, or for any rents, revenues, issues or profits thereof, but within twenty years after the right, title, or cause of action to the same shall accrue, and not after.

In case the judgment given for the plaintiff in a real action shall be reversed by writ of error, or if a verdict pass for the plaintiff, and upon matter alleged in arrest of judgment, the judgment be given against the plaintiff, then such plaintiff, his or her heirs, executors or administrators, as the case shall require, may commence a new action within one year after such judgment reversed or given against the plaintiff, and not after. (Act of 7th February, 1799, SS 9, 10, 12, 13. Nixon's Dig. N. J. Laws, 1855, p. 436.)

It would seem to be quite obvious that, under the New Jersey act, twenty years' undisturbed possession of lands bars the action of ejectment; and the question would seem to be so clear that there was no occasion for judicial construction. But the matter has been before the courts of the state, and judicially settled in accordance with the above proposition. (Den v. Wright, 12 Halst. R. 175.)

The lessor of the plaintiff, in an action of ejectment in New Jersey, must always count upon and show possession of the land within the time to which the right of entry is limited, viz., within twenty years next before the action is brought. But he need not show a possession of twenty complete years, or any number of years, further than is necessary to constitute a full and peaceable possession. (Den v. Morris, 2 Halst. R. 6.)

(. 2 It has been held that the New Jersey statute of limitations applies to actions brought to recover dower. (Berrien v. Conover, 1 Har. R. 107.)

The statute of New Jersey, for the limitation of suits respecting title to lands, does not begin to run against a reversioner or remainderman until after the estate for life is terminated. So long as estates in remainder or reversion are permitted to exist, the courts of New Jersey very properly hold that they must be protected, by allowing a claimant a reasonable time after his right


accrues, to commence his action. (Bruen v. Burrage, 31 N. J. R. 21.)

It is held that the statute of limitations will run against the board of proprietors in New Jersey, and that twenty years' adverse possession of lands will bar their right of entry or recovery. (Empson v. Giberson, 1 Dutcher's R. 1.)




By the statutes of Maine, no person can commence any real or mixed action for the recovery of lands, or make any entry thereon, unless within twenty years after the right to make such entry or bring such action first accrued; or within twenty years after he, or those under or from whom he claims, shall have been seised or possessed of the premises. But if such right or title first accrued to an ancestor or predecessor of the person who brings the action or makes the entry, or to any other person from, by, or under whom he claims, the said twenty years shall be computed from the time when the right or title so first accrued to such ancestor, predecessor or other person. If a person is disseised, his right of entry is deemed to have accrued at the time of such disseisin. If he claims as heir or devisee of one who died seised, his right is deemed to have accrued at the time of such death, unless there is a tenancy by the curtesy or other estate, intervening after the death of such ancestor or devisee; in which case his right is deemed to accrue when such intermediate estate shall expire, or when it would have expired by its own limitation. When there is such an intermediate estate, and in all cases when the party claims by force of any remainder or reversion, his right, so far as it is affected by the limitation prescribed, is deemed to accrue when the intermediate estate would have expired by its own limitation, notwithstanding any forfeiture thereof, for which he might have entered at an earlier time. No person is prevented from entering, when entitled to do so, by reason of any forfeiture or breach of condition ; but, if he claims under such a title, his right

is deemed to have accrued when the forfeiture was incurred or the condition broken.

In all cases not specially provided for, the right of entry is deemed to have accrued when the claimant, or the person under whom he claims, first became entitled to the possession of the premises under the title upon which the entry or action is founded.

If any minister or other sole corporation shall be disseised, any of his successors may enter upon the premises, or may bring an action for the recovery of them, at any time within five years after the death, resignation or removal of the person disseised, notwithstanding the twenty years after the disseisin shall have expired.

If at the time when such right of entry or any action upon or for any lands shall first accrue, the person entitled to such entry or action shall be within the age of twenty-one years, or a married woman, insane, imprisoned, or absent from the United Ştates, such person, or any one claiming from, by, or under him, may make the entry or bring the action at any time within ten years after such disability shall be removed, notwithstanding the twenty years' limit shall have expired. And if the person first entitled to make such entry or bring such action shall die during the continuance of any of the disabilities mentioned, and no determin. ation or judgment shall have been had of or upon the title, right or action which accrued to him, the entry may be made or the action brought, by his heirs, or any other person claiming from, by, or under him, at any time within ten years after his death, notwithstanding the said twenty years shall have elapsed; but no such further time for making such entry or bringing such action, beyond what is prescribed, will be allowed, by reason of the disability of any other person.

When a tenant in tail, or a remainderman in tail, shall die before the expiration of the period limited for making such entry or bringing an action for lands, no person claiming any estate, which such tenant in tail or remainderman might have barred, can make an entry or bring an action to recover such land, but within the period during which the tenant in tail or remainderman, if he had so long lived, might have made such entry or brought such action.

No real or mixed action, for the recovery of lands, can be commenced by or on behalf of the state, unless within twenty years next after the time of the accruing of the title to the state.

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