January 01, 2018

When Inquiring Minds Ought to Know . . . , Part II

Last year, in this magazine, the authors provided an introduction to the doctrine of inquiry notice. Donald J. Kochan & James Charles Smith, When Inquiring Minds Ought to Know . . . , Prob. & Prop., July/Aug. 2017, at 57. That article also focused on language in recorded instruments that triggers a duty to discover more about the state of title. Sometimes what you see in a document can create a duty to take a closer look at the property, and other times taking a look at the property can heighten the necessity to ask further questions about possible outstanding rights. Now the authors focus on the traditional rule that physical possession by persons inconsistent with recorded instruments usually triggers a duty to inquire about the possessors’ rights, the major exceptions to the duty to inquire about possession, and circumstances when visible evidence of use may trigger inquiry into the existence of an unrecorded easement or other servitude. We will cover each category in turn across this article.

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