ORS 12.050
Action to recover real property

An action for the recovery of real property, or for the recovery of the possession thereof, shall be commenced within 10 years. No action shall be maintained for such recovery unless it appear that the plaintiff, an ancestor, predecessor, or grantor was seized or possessed of the premises in question within 10 years before the commencement of the action.

Source: Section 12.050 — Action to recover real property, https://www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/bills_laws/ors/ors012.­html.

Notes of Decisions

In general

Action in ejectment “accrues” when actual repudiation occurs or adverse claim has been asserted against property owner’s interest such that owner knows or reasonably should have known of repudiation or adverse claim, as defined by elements of adverse possession. Hammond v. Hammond, 296 Or App 321, 438 P3d 408 (2019)

Application to public property

Statute of limitations could not properly be asserted against state’s cause of action in ejectment. State ex rel Highway Division v. Rosanbalm, 31 Or App 717, 571 P2d 537 (1977), Sup Ct review denied

Necessity for possession

Adverse claimant must establish occupation or use of land that would be made by owner of same type of land, taking into account uses for which land was suitable. Almond v. Anderegg, 276 Or 1041, 557 P2d 220 (1976); Lee v. Hansen, 282 Or 371, 578 P2d 784 (1978)

In determining whether party has shown sufficient occupancy and use to establish title by adverse possession, use for which land is suitable should be taken into account. Hopkins v. State of Oregon, 96 Or App 717, 773 P2d 825 (1989)

Exclusiveness of possession

Where adverse claimant built roadway across land, used roadway for passage and planted crops on bordering piece of land, activities of adverse claimant established exclusive possession of roadway and bordering piece of land. Almond v. Anderegg, 276 Or 1041, 557 P2d 220 (1976)

Where adverse claimants had built clothesline and maintained strip of land under it, exclusive use requirement was satisfied, even though claimants allowed neighbors to use clothesline with permission. Russell v. Gullett, 285 Or 63, 589 P2d 729 (1979)

Because occupant used strip of land between suburban lots consistent with typical suburban owner, occupant exclusively possessed strip of land. Schoeller v. Kulawiak, 118 Or App 524, 848 P2d 619 (1993), Sup Ct review denied

Hostile character of possession

Where possession under belief of ownership was based on pure mistake, hostility element was satisfied. Lee v. Hansen, 282 Or 371, 578 P2d 784 (1978)

Plaintiff acted under claim of right for requisite period where he used disputed parcels for agricultural production and knowledge that others paid the taxes on the land did not defeat his claim. Garrett v. Lundgren, 41 Or App 23, 596 P2d 1318 (1979), Sup Ct review denied

Knowledge that record owner was paying taxes on parcel is evidence that adverse possessor used property furtively or with permission. White v. Chandler, 52 Or App 951, 630 P2d 372 (1981)

Use of area in manner that exceeded easement right in property meant use was not permissive. Schoeller v. Kulawiak, 118 Or App 524, 848 P2d 619 (1993), Sup Ct review denied

Open and notorious character of possession

Where plaintiffs made no attempt to clear brush from disputed parcel and made few plantings to fill in gaps in “privacy screen” but otherwise never entered parcel, there was no evidence to support finding that their use of parcel as privacy screen was open and notorious for required period. Corson v. Williford, 44 Or App 145, 605 P2d 1194 (1980)

Mere existence of overgrown foundation claimed as boundary to disputed strip of land was insufficient notice of adverse claim. Bartell v. Hollinshead, 47 Or App 145, 617 P2d 688 (1980)

Where predecessor in interest to disputed strip of land openly declared property to be his own and exclusively used land for 15-year period as average owner would by maintaining fence, cutting fallen trees and running horses and cattle on property predecessor established title by adverse possession so defendants, as successors in interest, succeeded to his interest. Braley v. Hess, 48 Or App 505, 617 P2d 308 (1980)

Where parties claiming adverse possession of three lots adjacent to their business proved that they had paid taxes on property for 20 years and that they had made use of various parts of property at different times over 20-year period, evidence showed that they had occupied and used property in same manner as owner of property would have done and therefore had established ownership by adverse possession. Owens v. Bartruff, 59 Or App 37, 650 P2d 155 (1982), aff’d 297 Or 610, 687 P2d 1072 (1984)

Continuity of possession

Where adverse claimant built roadway across land, used and maintained roadway, planted crops and harvested hay from bordering piece of land for several years and record owner did not act for 28 years, adverse claimant established continued possession of roadway and bordering piece of land. Almond v. Anderegg, 276 Or 1041, 557 P2d 220 (1976)

Where the only action by defendant inconsistent with use of easement was locking of one gate during deer hunting season and there was no indication that use of easement was limited to deer season, requirement that adverse use be continuous was not satisfied. Abbott v. Thompson, 56 Or App 311, 641 P2d 652 (1982), Sup Ct review denied

Conclusion that ten years continued to accrue after plaintiffs filed suit and up to time interest was conveyed to defendants was erroneous application of statute of limitations. Evans v. Hogue, 296 Or 745, 681 P2d 1133 (1984)

Where there is evidence of intent between grantor and grantee to transfer grantor’s interest in property, grantee may acquire grantor’s interest, vested and complete, in those situations in which grantor has adversely possessed for statutory period. Evans v. Hogue, 296 Or 745, 681 P2d 1133 (1984)

Relationship of parties

Where cotenant held land under deed purporting to convey full title, and cotenant met all requirements of adverse possession, no actual notice of ouster was required. Nedry v. Morgan, 284 Or 65, 584 P2d 1381 (1978)

During administration period, administrator may not acquire by adverse possession real property previously belonging to decedent, without fully informing heirs of value and nature of their interest in land. Venator v. Quier, 285 Or 19, 589 P2d 731 (1979)

Effect of adverse possession

Where defendant’s title to disputed parcel of property had matured by adverse possession, doctrine of relation-back applied to prevent recovery for timber trespass under ORS 105.815. Breuer v. Covert, 47 Or App 225, 614 P2d 1169 (1980), Sup Ct review denied

Prescriptive title to easements

Proof of adverse uses must be clear and positive. State Hwy. Comm. v. Bauman, 16 Or App 275, 517 P2d 1202 (1974), Sup Ct review denied

Where defendants could not rebut continuous, open and notorious use by showing permission to use road, use was sufficiently adverse to establish easement by prescription. Kondor v. Prose, 50 Or App 55, 622 P2d 741 (1981)

Defendants carried burden of proving adverse use when they used driveway under mistaken belief that it was easement described in their deed, did not use driveway with plaintiff’s permission and did all maintenance and major repair work. Hanscam v. Sousa, 56 Or App 117, 641 P2d 86 (1982)

Presumption of adverseness which arose from plaintiff’s continuous use of road for 10 years was rebutted where there was no evidence that plaintiff’s use interfered with defendant’s use of road which defendant had constructed before plaintiff’s acquisition of his property. Stone v. Henry Enterprises, Inc., 95 Or App 355, 768 P2d 442 (1989)


Evidence that contested strip of land had been enclosed by substantial fence for more than statutory period was insufficient to establish adverse possession. Woolfolk v. Isler, 37 Or App 687, 588 P2d 632 (1978)

Where testimony of possessor of land, who had lived on land more than 10 years, did not clearly establish when he began to assert an adverse claim, no title by adverse possession was established. McCall v. Hyde, 39 Or App 531, 592 P2d 1064 (1979)

Proof of use of portion of disputed strip as garden was not sufficiently clear and convincing so as to establish continuity of adverse use. Bartell v. Hollinshead, 47 Or App 145, 617 P2d 688 (1980)

Law Review Citations

4 EL 391 (1974)

Time of commencing actions
When action deemed begun
Limitations of suits generally
Action to recover real property
Suit or action on land contracts
Action on judgment, decree or sealed instrument
Action on certain contracts or liabilities
Action against garnishee
Action on official act or penalty
Actions for certain injuries to person not arising on contract
Action for negligent injury to person or property
Actions based on child abuse
Action based on conduct that constitutes sexual assault of adult or conduct knowingly allowing, permitting or encouraging sexual assault of adult
Action on escape
Action arising under rental agreement
Action for penalty
Action arising out of real estate appraisal activity or appraisal review
Action for damages from construction, alteration or repair of improvement to real property
Action for loss of or damage to property arising from nuclear incident
Actions not otherwise provided for
Suspension of running of statute by absence or concealment
Effect of notice of advance payment on running of period of limitation
Suspension for minors and persons who have disabling mental condition
Disability must exist when right of action accrues
Coexisting disabilities must all be removed
Effect of death on limitations
Effect of attorney death on limitations
Suspension by war as to alien
Suspension by injunction or prohibition of statute
Commencement of new action after involuntary dismissal
Acknowledgment or promise taking contract case out of statute
Effect of payment after obligation becomes due
Actions by state, county or public corporations
Conclusive presumption of validity of governmental subdivision boundary proceedings one year after effective date
Action based on pesticide application
Action against trustee of express trust
Action for death, injury or damage resulting from breast implants
Action against manufacturer of certain pickup trucks
Action based on practice of land surveying
Action against manufacturer of extendable equipment
Definitions for ORS 12.410 to 12.480
Claims based on law of other states
Application of statutes and rules governing conflict of laws
When limitation period of another state not applicable
Claims to which statutes apply
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