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What evidence is required to prove illegal possession or encroachment?

What evidence is required to prove illegal possession or encroachment?

Published At June 27, 2024

Answer

Proving illegal possession of property or encroachment typically requires a combination of documentary, physical and testimonial evidence. The critical elements to establish include demonstrating ownership, the extent of the encroachment and the nature of the encroachment.

  • Documentation: Essential documents include the property deed and titles. These documents define legal ownership and the property’s boundaries​​.
  • Witness Testimony: Testimonies from neighbours or previous owners who can confirm the history of the property boundaries and any disputes can be valuable. Such witnesses may attest to the duration and nature of the encroachment or illegal possession, reinforcing the claim with firsthand observations​.
  • Official Records and Permits: Records from local government offices such as zoning departments can provide authoritative evidence of property boundaries and any official recognition of them. Additionally, checking for building permits can reveal if any unauthorized construction has taken place​​.
  • Legal Notices and Actions: If informal resolution attempts fail, sending a formal notice of claim or filing a lawsuit may be necessary. Documenting all communications with the encroaching party, including attempts at negotiation and formal notices, can demonstrate the plaintiff’s efforts to resolve the issue amicably before seeking judicial intervention​.

By gathering and presenting this comprehensive evidence, a property owner can effectively prove illegal possession or encroachment in court, supporting their case for the rightful ownership and use of their property.

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