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Gordon v. Lumberville Delaware Bridge Co.

Decided: February 1, 1932.

GEORGE GORDON ET AL., APPELLANTS,
v.
LUMBERVILLE DELAWARE BRIDGE COMPANY, A CORPORATION OF NEW JERSEY, RESPONDENT



On appeal from a judgment of the Supreme Court.

For the appellants, Riker & Riker (Thomas E. Fitzsimmons, of counsel).

For the respondent, Walter F. Hayhurst.

Trenchard

The opinion of the court was delivered by

TRENCHARD, J. This is the appeal of the plaintiffs below from a judgment in favor of the defendant in an action in ejectment.

The plaintiffs' claimed to be the owners of land in Hunterdon county in the possession and occupancy of the defendant, the Lumberville Delaware Bridge Company, their claim being based upon the fact that they are the heirs-at-law of one John W. Connor, deceased.

The defendant answered that the land described in plaintiffs' complaint and occupied by the bridge structure of the defendant corporation, has been in the actual possession of the defendant for more than sixty years.

At the trial it was stipulated that the land in question is occupied by the bridge of the defendant corporation and had been in its actual possession for sixty years before the institution of the suit.

These facts being admitted, the judge before whom the case was tried without a jury, concluded that the defendant was entitled to judgment, and so ordered.

We think that was right.

Chapter 188 of Pamph. L. 1922, p. 315 (amending section 1 of act of June 5th, 1787, Pamph. L., p. 410; Comp. Stat., p. 3172, ยง 28), provides:

"Thirty years' actual possession of any lands, tenements or other real estate, excepting woodlands or uncultivated tracts and that sixty years' actual possession of any woodlands or uncultivated tracts, uninterruptedly continued by occupancy, descent, conveyance or otherwise, in whatever way or manner such possession might have commenced, or have been continued, shall vest a full and complete right and title in every actual possessor or occupier of such lands, tenements, or other real estate, and shall be a good and sufficient bar to all claims that may be made, or actions commenced by any person or persons whatsoever for the recovery of any such lands, tenements or other real estate."

In the present case there was admitted actual possession of the defendant for sixty years. We are therefore concerned only with that part of the act of 1922 which has been continuously in our laws, in substantially the same form, since its enactment as section 1 of the act of June 5th, 1787, which section declared: "That sixty years' actual possession of any lands, tenements, or other real estate, uninterruptedly continued by occupancy, descent, conveyance or otherwise, in whatever way or manner such possession might have commenced, or have been continued, shall vest a full and ...


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