Hansen v. Sandridge PartnersAnnotate this Case
An interest in land that is functionally equivalent to ownership may be acquired by adverse possession, but not as a prescriptive easement. This appeal concerned a dispute between Erik Hansen and his relatives and Sandridge Partners over 10 acres of land. The Court of Appeal held that the Hansens were not entitled to an equitable easement over the disputed lands because the Hansens' encroachment on Sandridge's land was negligent as a matter of law. In this case, the Hansens negligently encroached on the disputed land when they planted pistachio trees and installed an irrigation system; Sandridge was not contributorily negligent in causing the encroachment; and the Hansens were not entitled to the prescriptive easement they seek. Therefore, the elements of adverse possession were not satisfied in this case and the trial court properly rejected the Hansens' claim.