PA’s Commonwealth Court recently ruled that a party alleging adverse possession over condemned property may intervene and challenge a taking. In In re Condemnation of Rights of Way and Easements, a Township condemned property to construct a sanitary sewer system. The Township named the record owner as the property owner. Owners of property near the condemned property challenged the taking alleging that they had acquired an interest in the property through adverse possession and that the taking was defective for failing to name them as a party.
In affirming the trial court, the Commonwealth Court first rejected the argument that a party alleging adverse possession should have filed a quiet title action and held “that an interest in property may be properly addressed through” a challenge to a taking. The Court then held that adverse possession was established and, therefore, sustained the challenge.