☰ Revisor of Missouri


Chapter 516

< > Effective - 28 Aug 1939    bottom

  516.010.  Actions for recovery of lands commenced, when. — No action for the recovery of any lands, tenements or hereditaments, or for the recovery of the possession thereof, shall be commenced, had or maintained by any person, whether citizen, denizen, alien, resident or nonresident of this state, unless it appear that the plaintiff, his ancestor, predecessor, grantor or other person under whom he claims was seized or possessed of the premises in question, within ten years before the commencement of such action.


(RSMo 1939 § 1002)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 850; 1919 § 1305; 1909 § 1879


Adverse possession, actions to establish title by, 527.180

(1951) Three-year limitation statute (§ 140.590) applies to suit to quiet title and to cancel as void collector's deeds issued under Jones-Munger Law. Contentions that § 140.590 was repealed by quiet title act (§ 527.150) and by §§ 140.330 and 140.570 denied. History of § 140.590 discussed. Pettus v. City of St. Louis, 362 Mo. 603, 242 S.W.2d 723.

(1956) Enforcement of covenants of restriction, which run with land, is governed by the ten-year statute of limitations (§ 516.010) rather than the five-year statute. McLaughlin v. Neiger (A.), 286 S.W.2d 380.

(1959) The ten-year statute of limitations runs against a county to deprive it of title to islands, swamplands and abandoned river beds. Hamburg Realty Co. v. Walker (Mo.), 327 S.W.2d 155.

(1962) This section is not applicable in action for declaratory judgment to determine boundary between school districts.  Reorg. Sch. Dist. R-I v. Reorg. Sch. Dist. R-III (A.), 360 S.W.2d 376.

(1969) Acceptance or approval by governmental authority is not necessary for a common-law dedication if the intention of the dedicator to make the dedication is clear by the instrument and it is in fact accepted by the public as demonstrated by the use made of it, which need not be for the statutory period under this section. Hoechst v. Bangert (Mo.), 440 S.W.2d 476.

(1976) Held, statute of limitations relative to a declaratory judgment begins to run from the date controversy arose and not from date of original grant of easement. Kleinheider v. Phillips Pipe Line Company (C.A. Mo.), 528 F.2d 837.

Statute Runs, When

(1955) Where widow occupied property owned by her husband partly as homestead and remainder adversely, and the same was sold for taxes to her son by prior marriage under Jones-Munger law, heirs of husband as remaindermen held not entitled to recover property in action commenced almost three years after widow's death and fourteen years after tax sale. Hunott v. Critchlow, 365 Mo. 600, 285 S.W.2d 594.

Statute Arrested, When

(1952) Where wife conveyed through straw party to husband to enable him to sign bonds, but continued in possession, collected rents and kept property in repair, resulting trust arose and action to enforce same by wife was not barred by limitations.  James v. James (Mo.), 248 S.W.2d 623.

(1953) Limitations do not begin to run against remaindermen until they become entitled to possession of land on death of life tenant. Revare v. Lee (Mo.), 257 S.W.2d 676.

(1955) Where constructive trust in land was found and the trustee did not repudiate the trust ten years before action brought, claim was not barred by limitations. Swon v. Huddleston (Mo.), 282 S.W.2d 18.

Adverse Possession

(1951) Where plaintiff and predecessors held land under deed describing same and containing words "together with accretions thereto" for more than ten years, they were entitled to an accreted tract as well as main body of land even though record title was not perfect. Kirschman v. Cochran (Mo.), 241 S.W.2d 9.

(1951) Where defendant purchased real estate at foreclosure sale, even though such foreclosure may have been barred under § 516.150, and held same under claim of right for more than ten years, she had title thereto. Martin v. Lewis (Mo.), 244 S.W.2d 87.

(1952) Adverse possession defined. City of Kirksville v. Young (Mo.), 252 S.W.2d 286.

(1954) Where lot owners on acquisition of property and their immediate predecessor obtained, held and used portion of adjoining lot for garden for more than ten years and at all times assumed that it was their property and acted on such assumption, title by adverse possession was established. Barker v. Allen (Mo.), 273 S.W.2d 191.

(1956) Where school lot of about half acre had been used for over thirty years, and conveyances of surrounding land had excepted such lot, owner of surrounding land held not entitled to such lot after it ceased to be used for school purposes, although no conveyance to school district could be found. Feeler v. Reorganized Sch. Dist. No. 4 (Mo.), 290 S.W.2d 102.

(1957) Entry into possession by purchasers at tax sale prior to lapse of one year from date of sale was wrongful and possession adverse and fact that purchasers had obtained quit-claim deed from former owners and attempted to negotiate for such with defendant would not destroy hostile nature of their possession.  Feinstein v. McGuire (Mo.), 297 S.W.2d 513.

(1958) It is the intent to possess, and not the intent to take irrespective of the true owner's right, which makes a holding adverse. Walters v. Trucker (Mo.), 308 S.W.2d 673.

(1958) If the possessor occupies land, intending to hold it as his own, his occupancy is adverse and it is not necessary that he intend to take the land from the true owner or that he be indifferent to the facts of the legal title. Mooney v. Canter (Mo.), 311 S.W.2d 1.

(1958) School district can acquire title to property by adverse possession. Where one is put in possession of land by parol gift the possession of the donee is adverse from its inception.  Southern Reynolds Co. School Dist. R-2 v. Callahan (Mo.), 313 S.W.2d 35.

(1960) In action to quiet title and to partition land based on tax collector's deed which had been held void and on a conveyance by the life tenant, evidence of adverse possession as against remaindermen held inadmissible. Klorner v. Nunn (Mo.), 339 S.W.2d 838.

(1961) Evidence held sufficient to show that plaintiff's possession of a portion of a city lot was adverse and that it was not permissive in its inception. Ennis v. Korb (Mo.), 347 S.W.2d 671.

(1961) Two brothers inherited land from their father and one was adjudicated dead upon his failure to appear for more than seven years. Then after the other brother claimed the land adversely for more than the required length of time, and made valuable improvements on it, the absent brother appeared and sought to recover his part. The court held that the evidence was sufficient to establish title by adverse possession in the brother. Raplogle v. Raplogle (Mo.), 350 S.W.2d 735.

(1964) This section was not a bar to suit to set aside deed for lack of delivery commenced by grantor almost 12 years after execution where grantor remained in possession and defendants, being apparent remaindermen not entitled to possession, had held nothing adversely to plaintiff. Rebmann v. Rebmann (Mo.), 384 S.W.2d 663.

(1965) Where corporation was in possession of property for more than ten years under color of title, and during the entire period collected rents from other occupants, paid taxes, insured property and collected proceeds of two fire losses and where possession was not permissive but under claim of right, the corporation acquired title to realty by adverse possession and was entitled to compensation for taking by condemnation.  Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority of City of St.  Louis v. Zitko (Mo.), 386 S.W.2d 69.

(1965) Where city had taxed entire lot and owner had paid tax this fact alone would not defeat the city's claim of adverse possession to a portion of the lot infringed on for street purposes.  Terry v. City of Independence (Mo.), 388 S.W.2d 769.

(1965) A municipality or other public body may acquire a prescriptive right-of-way over lands of another for street or road purposes. Terry v. City of Independence (Mo.), 388 S.W.2d 769.

(1968) Evidence held to support title by adverse possession.  All elements of adverse possession discussed. Mitler v. Warner (MO.), 433 S.W.2d 259.


(1952) Petition claimed that plaintiff was fee simple owner of land; that plaintiff had been in adverse possession thereof and that defendants claimed some interest therein, and asked court to try, ascertain and determine title and interest of parties.  Defendant's answer claimed fee simple title and contained like prayer. Judgment holding plaintiff had title acquired by adverse possession held within issues made by pleadings. City of Kirksville v. Young (Mo.), 252 S.W.2d 286.


(1956) Open, continuous and uninterrupted user of real estate for statutory period creates presumption that user was adverse but the presumption disappears on appearance of some substantial evidence, however slight, that user was permissive.  Bridle Trail Ass'n. v. O'Shanick (A.), 209 S.W.2d 401.

(1957) Where adverse possession of grantors lacked over two months of extending over statutory period, and grantee plaintiff produced no evidence as to his possession, presumption of continuance of possession in grantee would not be allowed as plaintiff had knowledge of actual facts. Feinstein v. McGuire (Mo.), 297 S.W.2d 513.

(1961) Evidence held sufficient to establish that plaintiff had hostile possession of the property, i.e. under a claim of right, for the required time. Martin v. Pauly (Mo.), 350 S.W.2d 748.

(1984) After title to the surface estate has been severed from the mineral estate, title to the mineral estate cannot be acquired by adverse possession of the surface alone. General Refractories Co. v. Raack (Mo.App.), 674 S.W.2d 97.

---- end of effective  28 Aug 1939 ----

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