Unsettled Real Property Law in Utah, Salt Lake Real Estate Law Has No Bright Line…

There are no bright lines in real estate law.

Facts matter.

The actual events that have happened in your case matter.

Do you know that someone is encroaching upon your land?

Do you have a trespass claim?

Are you an absentee owner?

Can you benefit from being ignorant?

Recent Utah Supreme Court Case suggests that you ought to be directly involved in your property, because your failure to see it and know what’s going on, you can be in trouble for your failure to know specifically what’s going on.

Let me explain.

Here is language from a 2006 ruling from the Utah Court of Appeals:

Acquiescence requires more than just some identifiable line. The mere fact that a fence happens to be put up and neither party does anything about it for a long period of time will not establish it as the true boundary.  You have to actually show that the parties intended to treat it as the boundary line.

Brown v. Jorgensen, 2006 UT App 168

So, the holding includes the language that you need more than an old fence or line in place.

Now, check out the Utah Court of Appeal’s decision in 2014:

Silence is not a defense.

The dispute was about a fence originally placed in 1930.  Anderson purchased the parcel in 1968.  In 2004, Anderson had his fence surveyed and found that the property line was different by over 120 feet.  Anderson filed a quiet title action against his neighbor the Fautins.  Anderson said that he never acquiescenced because he was an absentee owner.  The Court ruled that  all that was necessary was reasonable party was on notice that the line was treated as the boundary.  Mr. Anderson’s failure to do anything was sufficient.

Anderson v. Fautin, 2014 UT App 141.


before you make a real estate claim, you ought to speak with a real estate attorney.

Contact a qualified lawyer at the law firm of Eveland & Associates, PLLC 801-676-5506