LOUISE J. GALIHER, Trustee of the Louise J. Galiher Trust, Appellant (Plaintiff),
DENNIS and VICKI JOHNSON, Appellees (Defendants).
from the District Court of Teton County The Honorable Marvin
L. Tyler, Judge
Representing Appellant Anna Reeves Olson, Park Street Law
Office, Casper, Wyoming
Representing Appellee Matthew E. Turner, Mullikin, Larson
& Swift LLC, Jackson, Wyoming
BURKE, C.J., and HILL, DAVIS, FOX, and KAUTZ, JJ.
Louise Galiher appeals from a judgment ruling that title to a
portion of her property had vested in her neighbor Dennis
Johnson and his wife by adverse possession. We reverse and
Galiher asserts that the district court erred as a matter of
law in three respects: (1) in concluding that the Johnsons
had established a prima facie case of adverse
possession, despite their inability to show that their use of
the disputed property was hostile and under a claim of right;
(2) in calculating when the statute of limitations began to
run to bar claims against the Johnsons' use of the
property; and (3) in refusing to consider evidence that
previous owners of Galiher's property were simply
accommodating a neighbor when they allowed the Johnsons to
park on the disputed property.
However, at the core of each of those assertions, as
presented in both Galiher's opening and reply briefs, is
a single question of law that in our view is determinative of
Did the district court err when it determined it could not
consider Johnson's out-of-court statements as evidence
that his use of the disputed property had always been
The parties' dispute relates to Lot 21 and Lot 23 of the
High Country subdivision in Teton County near the town of
Jackson, Wyoming. In 1977, Johnson's wife Vicki and her
former husband, Rick Hollingsworth, purchased a home situated
on Lot 21. The couple divorced in 1984. Johnson met his wife
in 1985 and married her the following year. In 1990,
Hollingsworth conveyed his interest in the property to the
Johnsons, who have continued to live there.
Lot 23 is directly south of Lot 21. Between 1978 and
Galiher's purchase in early March of 2013, the ownership
of Lot 23 had changed eight times. The following map shows
the two lots and the disputed portion of Lot 23.
following photo, which was not an actual exhibit presented at
trial but rather an enlarged photo of a portion of
Appellant's Exhibit D-38, is an aerial view of the lots
and disputed property. The ...