Title conveyance travels winding road but COA finds owner

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A fresh batch of legal questions are headed to the Wabash Circuit Court for resolution after the Indiana Court of Appeals found feuding neighbors were not co-owners of a lane that connects to all their properties.

The trial court found that Randy Corn was a joint owner of a narrow country lane with Junior Corn and Bonnie and Benjamin Corn.

However, in studying the conveyance of deeds that date back to the 1800s, the Court of Appeals discovered the chain of title that ended with Junior, Bonnie and Benjamin Corn (the Corns) did not include ownership of the lane. It also ruled that the trial court did not err when it ruled the Corns had not taken title of the lane through adverse possession.

The Corns countered that even if Randy Corn held title to the lane by virtue of the deed provisions, the trial court did err when it did not find the Corns took title of the lane by means of adverse possession.

The Court of Appeals noted this question, along with Randy Corn’s request of a permanent injunction against the Corns’ use of the lane, were left unanswered because the trial court found the parties were tenants in common. Therefore, since the panel unanimously reversed the ownership ruling, it remanded these legal matters to the trial court for further proceedings.

The case is Randy Corn v. Junior P. Corn, Bonnie D. Corn and Benjamin Corn, 85A02-1405-PL-265.


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