Articles Posted in Business Litigation

In our last blog entry on San Antonio adverse possession of real estate , we touched on the conditions of the 3 year and 5 year statute of limitations for an owner to bring an action to recover property held in adverse possession.

Under the ten (10) year statute of limitations, an owner of land must bring suit to recover land held in adverse possession by a party that cultivates, uses, or enjoys the property. This is the most common statute of limitations, since most parties in adverse possession do not hold the land under a title or deed and have not paid any real estate taxes. Without a title, theoretically, a person in adverse possession is entitled to no more than 160 acres.

The final statute of limitations is the twenty-five (25) year limitations period. This is the catch-all limitations period that applies regardless of whether the owner had a disability during the time of adverse possession. An owner who sues for recovery from an adverse possessor may under the law suffer from a disability. Texas real estate law recognizes that an original owner may have a disability such as being a minor (under 18), having an unsound mind, or serving in the military during a time of war. The time of disability is not included in a limitations period. Texas law however essentially cuts off an owner’s right to sue for recovery of land held in adverse possession regardless of disability if 25 years passes after the adverse possessor first occupies the property.

Imagine you have inherited a large, vacant piece of Texas land from your beloved uncle. You are excited, because the land holds promising residential and commercial real estate development. You travel out to view the land, and you notice a large mobile home parked on the land accompanied by what appears to be utilities, including a septic tank and electrical hook up. You are shocked, because no had ever mentioned to you that the land could be occupied. You have no idea how long they have been there, and war stories of adverse possession start circulating through your head.

Before you become too anxious, perhaps the following primer on San Antonio and greater Texas adverse possession will be helpful. Under the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code , the term “adverse possession” refers to a situation where a party makes an actual and visible takeover of land that is considered hostile and inconsistent with the claim of another party. The possession must occur over a period of time in which there is no suit by the landowner to recover the property.


There are multiple statutes of limitations on adverse possession in Texas.

In San Antonio and greater Texas, under the Texas Business and Commerce Code, the courts will not enforce a contract for the sale of real estate unless such an agreement is in writing and signed by the parties to the agreement or their agents. Tex. Bus.& Com. Code § 26.01. Such a requirement is an essential legal concept known as the Statute of Frauds, which requires certain agreements such as those for the sale of land to be in writing.

In order for the courts to enforce specific provisions of a real estate contract for sale, the written agreement must be such that the terms are expressed with a reasonable certainty. Also, the courts will require that the party demanding the contract be enforced show that it in fact has complied with all his or her obligations under the contract.

Sometimes, a party will claim fraud on an oral contract for sale of real estate. The courts however reject this legal theory on the basis that the alleged contract was inherently unenforceable under the statute of frauds.

As a Texas resident, you may have been the victim of what you considered false, misleading, and deceptive business and insurance practices. Perhaps a Texas company you were doing business with breached its warranty or committed an outrageous business practice.

What can you do? Luckily, Texas has enacted the Deceptive Trade Practices – Consumer Protection Act (“DTPA”) which outlaws certain practices that deceive customers. If you believe you are the victim of a deceptive trade practice, it would behoove you to consult immediately with a San Antonio and greater Texas consumer fraud attorney .

The DTPA allows for both public enforcement and private civil resolution. The Texas Attorney General can seek a court order preventing the particularly deceptive practices, while you as an individual have a right to have your grievances addressed in a court of law.

Ebay is a global phenomenon. Recently, the sellers on such auction sites have come under greater scrutiny for potential violation of state consumer fraud acts including Texas. The relevant consumer protection act in Texas is the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act .

The state consumer fraud act carries a treble damages award, which means a victim can be awarded three times the amount of their actual loss. The law can be triggered when sellers exaggerate about merchandise sold online, through classified ads including Craigslist, and even flea farms or garage sales.


In NJ, the Supreme Court is weighing the case of a 1970 Corvette convertible , which was described as being “in good condition”. After the buyer paid well over $13K for the car on Ebay, he found upon receiving shipment that the vehicle was undriveable and he wound up spending $40K just to restore it.

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