Ouster is the wrongful dispossession or exclusion of a person entitled to possession of property. Ouster occurs when someone knowingly prevents a landowner from entering or using all or part of their property. Each state has different requirements about what constitutes ouster.
Who Can Commit Ouster?
Ouster can be committed by joint owners of property against their other joint owners, or it can be commited by anyone who ousts a true owner from their land.
Why Have I Been Ousted?
Besides simple malice, there are a few reasons why you may have been ousted from your property:
- Ouster as a Way to Terminate a Joint Tenancy
Ouster may be used by a joint owner of property in order to terminate a joint tenancy. However, if your co-tenant ousts you from joint property, you are able to sue for fair rental value, or for judicial partition.
- Ouster and Adverse Possession
Ouster may be used as a way to adversely possess property. By ousting you from your property, the ouster attains exclusive, open, and hostile possession of the your land. The ouster may be seeking to acquire legal title to your land through adverse possession. Fortunatly for you, the statute of limitatins required for adverse possession is usually 10 -20 years depending on the state. Thus, you can seek to reclaim possession of your land through judicial action.
Can a Lawyer Help Me Get Back on My Land?
Yes! A property attorney can help you get back on your land and protect your legal and property rights. A lawyer can guide you through the judicial process of eviction, or they can help you sue a joint owner of property for rent or judicial partition.