Vanderbilt Law Review


Allen Shoffner

First Page



The Tennessee courts have been unnecessarily burdened with the interpretation and application of ambiguous statutes; in consequence, the material to be found on adverse possession is voluminous and difficult to analyze. Yet the law on this subject seems to satisfy present day needs and is basically in accord with the policy of quieting titles. The method by which title may be acquired regardless of disabilities seems desirable. The seven-year defensive or possessory title statute, although peculiar in its nature, tends to encourage use and development of rural and mountainous lands. The presumption of a grant affords a way for one, having no color of title, to acquire more than a mere possessory interest. The rule in Tennessee that adverse possession cannot run against the remainderman before the termination of the life estate seems to be the better view. However, there does not appear to be any reason why the courts, in figuring the time during which the owner is not bound by the running of the statute because of disabilities, should make a different computation when title is set up by presumption of a grant than when it is set up under section 8582. Nor is any reason apparent why the court should dispense with privity in the former and require it in the latter. The law should not dispense with privity in either theory.