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Osuch v. Gunnels

Supreme Court of Wyoming

May 8, 2017

RICHARD OSUCH and BARBARA D. RIVERA, Appellants (Plaintiffs),
v.
DAVID E. GUNNELS and LINDA M. GUNNELS, Appellees (Defendants).

         Appeal from the District Court of Sweetwater County The Honorable Nena James, Judge

          Representing Appellants: Michael W. Stulken, Stulken & Tynsky, PC, Green River, Wyoming.

          Representing Appellees: Danielle M. Mathey and Richard Mathey, Mathey Law Office, PC, Green River, Wyoming. Argument by Ms. Mathey.

          Before BURKE, C.J., and HILL, DAVIS, FOX, and KAUTZ, JJ.

          BURKE, CHIEF JUSTICE.

         [¶1] This case involves a dispute between property owners in Sweetwater County regarding a mistaken property boundary. Appellants, Richard Osuch and Barbara Rivera, challenge the district court's ruling that title to a portion of property formerly owned by their predecessors in interest had vested in Appellees, David and Linda Gunnels, by adverse possession. We affirm.

         ISSUES

         [¶2] Appellants present the following issue:

Whether the district court erred in concluding that the Gunnels acquired title to the subject property by adverse possession.

         Appellees present an additional issue:

Whether Appellees should be awarded attorney's fees and costs under W.R.A.P 10.05.

         FACTS

         [¶3] In 1974, Appellants' parents, Stanley and Wladzia Osuch, acquired an 80-acre tract of land in Sweetwater County. They eventually put the land into a trust, and the property passed to Appellants after Mrs. Osuch's death in 2010. In 2011, Appellants recorded a quitclaim deed conveying the property to them as tenants in common.

         [¶4] In 1984, Appellees purchased a forty-acre tract adjacent to the property owned by Appellants' predecessors in interest. At the time of the purchase, Appellees moved into an existing home on the property. Appellees subsequently made extensive improvements. In the spring of 1985, they constructed a fence around the property. Appellees determined the location of the fence based on stakes that were represented by their realtor to mark the property boundary. Unbeknown to Appellees, the fenced ...


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