Property Rights

ORS 105.620
Acquiring title by adverse possession


A person may acquire fee simple title to real property by adverse possession only if:


The person and the predecessors in interest of the person have maintained actual, open, notorious, exclusive, hostile and continuous possession of the property for a period of 10 years;


At the time the person claiming by adverse possession or the person’s predecessors in interest, first entered into possession of the property, the person entering into possession had the honest belief that the person was the actual owner of the property and that belief:


By the person and the person’s predecessor in interest, continued throughout the vesting period;


Had an objective basis; and


Was reasonable under the particular circumstances; and


The person proves each of the elements set out in this section by clear and convincing evidence.


(a) A person maintains “hostile possession” of property if the possession is under claim of right or with color of title. “Color of title” means the adverse possessor claims under a written conveyance of the property or by operation of law from one claiming under a written conveyance.


Absent additional supporting facts, the grazing of livestock is insufficient to satisfy the requirements of subsection (1)(a) of this section.


As used in this section and ORS 105.005 (Right of action) and 105.615 (Action by tenant in common against cotenants), “person” includes, but is not limited to, the state and its political subdivisions as created by statute. [1989 c.1069 §1; 1991 c.109 §2; 1999 c.950 §1]

Notes of Decisions

Application of statute to interest vesting prior to 1990 was improper. Markovich v. Chambers, 122 Or App 503, 857 P2d 906 (1993)

Exclusivity requires use consistent with ownership, not physical exclusion of all others. Slak v. Porter, 128 Or App 274, 875 P2d 515 (1994)

Where easement is extinguished by adverse possession, reference to easement in deed subsequently transferring subservient estate does not re-create easement. Faulconer v. Williams, 147 Or App 389, 936 P2d 999 (1997), aff'd 327 Or 381, 964 P2d 246 (1998)

In context of easement, hostility entails intent to occupy land without subordination to rights of dominant estate holder. Faulconer v. Williams, 327 Or 381, 964 P2d 246 (1998)

Where grantor attains interest in property through adverse possession for full statutory period and subsequently acts with intent to transfer interest in property, grantee obtains interest in property that grantor acquired through adverse possession. Timber Service Co. v. Ellis, 163 Or App 349, 988 P2d 396 (1999)

Adverse possessor use of property over statutory period does not shift burden to land owner to prove use was permissive. Hoffman v. Freeman Land and Timber, LLC, 329 Or 554, 994 P2d 106 (1999)

Requirement that person claiming adverse possession had objectively reasonable belief concerning ownership does not alter doctrine established under common law allowing proof of hostile possession based on pure mistake. Clark v. Ranchero Acres Water Co., 198 Or App 73, 108 P3d 31 (2005)

This provision does not provide for adverse possession by owner of fee simple title to real property of easement on that real property. Uhl v. Krupsky, 254 Or App 736, 294 P3d 559 (2013)

Law Review Citations

23 EL 1297 (1993)

Chapter 105

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Private process server in a forcible entry and detainer action, (1975) Vol 37, p 869


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021