What are N.M. laws concerning squatters rights?

A friend of mine lived for 11 years on property promised to him.
Then he was kicked off 2 yrs ago. His trailor and personal stuff is still there. Nothing in writing. (his mother) Are there any laws protecting him.
Answer:   "Squatters rights" are "adverse possession" under the law. The NM Statute is cited above. He didn't gain possession of the property as a "squatter" if he had permission from his mother to live on the property (his possession was not adverse). Unfortunately for your friend, under N.M. property law, all transactions for the transfer of property must be in writing, so if he doesn't have any document he has a very tough uphill battle to gain title to anything. Is this on a land grant? If it is, he may be able to obtain title to some other property through the land grant board of trustees. He may have obtained an easement by acquiescence or by estoppel, allowing him to keep his trailer where it is and live there, depending upon the facts.

Feel free to e-mail me.
hard case, in general to make a adverse possession claim you must posses the premises in an adverse possession, if mom allowed him to stay this is not an adverse situation

now under determinate reliance theory he may have some type of claim for an section of property that he improved based on his mothers verbal assurance to give that part to him

she can not hold his personal property no matter what call the cops on that issue
I agree with Goz

For those of you who want a statutory reference, it is to the New Mexico Statutes 37-1-22.

37-1-22. Title in fee simple by adverse possession; action after ten years barred; definition; payment of taxes. (1973)

In all cases where any person or persons, their children, heirs or assigns, shall have had adverse possession continuously and in good faith under color of title for ten years of any lands, tenements or hereditaments and no claim by suit in law or equity effectually prosecuted shall have been set up or made to the said lands, tenements or hereditaments, within the aforesaid time of ten years, then and in that case, the person or persons, their children, heirs or assigns, so holding adverse possession as aforesaid, shall be entitled to keep and hold in possession such quantity of lands as shall be specified and described in some writing purporting to give color of title to such adverse occupant, in preference to all, and against all, and all manner of person or persons whatsoever; and any person or persons, their children or their heirs or assigns, who shall neglect or who have neglected for the said term of ten years, to avail themselves of the benefit of any title, legal or equitable, which he, she or they may have to any lands, tenements or hereditaments, within this state, by suit of law or equity effectually prosecuted against the person or persons so as aforesaid in adverse possession, shall be forever barred, and the person or persons, their children, heirs or assigns so holding or keeping possession as aforesaid for the term of ten years shall have a good and indefeasible title in fee simple to such lands, tenements or hereditaments; provided, that if any person entitled to commence or prosecute such suit or action is or shall be, at the time the cause of action therefor first accrued, imprisoned, of unsound mind or under the age of majority, then the time for commencing such action shall in favor of such persons be extended so that they shall have one year after the termination of such disability to commence such action; but no cumulative disability shall prevent the bar of the above limitation, and this proviso shall only apply to those disabilities which existed when the cause of action first accrued and to no other. "Adverse possession" is defined to be an actual and visible appropriation of land, commenced and continued under a color of title and claim of right inconsistent with and hostile to the claim of another; provided, however that in the case of severed mineral interests the possession by the party in possession of the surface shall be considered as the constructive possession of such mineral claimant until actual possession shall have been taken by such mineral claimant; and provided further in no case must "adverse possession" be considered established within the meaning of the law, unless the party claiming adverse possession, his predecessors or grantors, have for the period mentioned in this section continuously paid all the taxes, state, county and municipal, which during that period have been assessed against the property.


Adverse possession is the taking of title to real estate by possessing it for a certain period of time. Title means ownership of real estate. The person claiming title to real estate by adverse possession must have actual possession of it that is open, notorious, exclusive and adverse to the claims of other persons to the title. By its very nature, a claim of adverse possession is hostile to the claims of other persons. It cannot be hidden but must be open and notorious in order to put other persons on notice as to one's claim for possession of the real estate.

A claim to title by adverse possession often must be made under color of title. Color of title means a claim to title by way of a fact which, although on its face appears to support a person's claim to title, is in some way defective and falls short of actually establishing title to the real estate. An example of a claim made under color of title would be a deed whose execution was defective or is in question. Another example is a claim arising from another person's Last Will and Testament. Yet another common example is where two or more persons have received separate deeds to the same parcel of real estate.


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