Hansen v. Kurry Jensen Properties

May 27, 2021

Utah Court of Appeals

2021 UT App 54 (Click for full text)

The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s decision regarding a residential boundary line which had been acquired by acquiescence. 

Background. The Jensen property and the Hansen property share a deeded boundary line running north and south. In 1977 and 1983 — respectively — former owners of the Hansen property constructed a carport and chainlink fence which extended ten feet west of the deeded boundary line onto the Jensen property. Three years after purchasing the property in 2015, Jensen removed sections of the existing fence and began building a separate fence along the original deeded boundary line. The Hansens filed suit in district court, asserting that a lawful boundary between the two properties had been established through acquiescence.

Holding. Based on the credible testimonies of past and present owners, combined with the facts on the ground, the Court held that the district did not err in finding — by clear and convincing evidence — that a boundary by acquiescence had been acquired approximately ten feet west of the deeded boundary line. The district court properly held that (1) a visible line marked by monuments, fences, buildings, or natural features was treated as a boundary; (2) the Hansen’s occupation of their property up to the visible line was such that it would give a reasonable landowner notice that they are using the line as a boundary; (3) mutual acquiescence in the line as a boundary existed between the adjoining landowners; (4) a period of at least 20 years was satisfied and undisputed. 

The Court further declined to review the district court’s rulings on Jensen’s summary judgment motions and motion in limine on the basis that disputes of material fact existed and that “Jensen [had] not shown an abuse of the court’s discretion in determining that the Hansens’ failure to serve initial disclosures in a timely manner was harmless.”

More information on Boundary by Acquiescence can be found here.