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Boosey v Davis (1988) 55 P&CR 83   Court of Appeal

Mr & Mrs Boosey had used land belonging to Mr Davis for grazing goats on a few occasions. They had cut down scrub and erected a mesh fence to facilitate the grazing.

Held: The erection of the fence was to keep the goats in not to keep others out and the actions of Mr & Mrs Boosey did not give rise to adverse possession of the land.

Nourse LJ:

"I turn then to the quantity and quality of the acts done by the plaintiffs. I nevertheless think that both the quantity and the quality of that user were minimal. Nor do I think that the cutting down of the scrub and the erection of the secondary wire mesh fence add very much. The cutting down of the scrub was merely to facilitate the minimal use by the goats--it was not for any wider purpose. Moreover, although in some cases the erection of a fence can be very significant, it seems to me that that was not so here. The fence was erected in order to reinforce a fence which had already been put there by the defendants' predecessors in title, and it did not in any event enclose the disputed land from Inglefield Road.

On a view of the facts as a whole, and making every allowance both for the finding as to the intention of the plaintiffs and for the fact that the learned judge saw and heard the witnesses, which we have not, I conclude that the facts found by him were not sufficient in law to constitute adverse possession. It seems to me to be impossible to say that there was, to echo the words of Lord Denning, something in the nature of an ouster of the defendants."

Back to lecture outline on adverse possession in land law