Absentee owner fights to keep rights to real estate

Co-owners sue niece on grounds of adverse possession

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Leonard and Jennie Preciado are tenants in common with a niece, Elizabeth R. Wilde, in two adjoining properties. A house originally stood on one property, but it was torn down after Wilde's father, who lived in it until 1984, passed on and Wilde inherited his three-tenths interest in the parcels. On Sept. 9, 2002, Leonard Preciado offered his niece $11,605 in writing for her interest in the parcels. But he never paid her the money. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. In this lawsuit, the Preciados sued Wilde for quiet title based on adverse possession for the required number of years. At the trial, Wilde testified she paid the property taxes until 1992 when Leonard began paying them. She also said she visited the properties "a couple of times a year" and was never excluded by the Preciados. Although Leonard planted crops on one-third of the property for personal consumption, and erected a fence in 1960 to keep a horse on part of the property, Wilde testified she was never told not to en...