36999  The Corporation of the City of Nelson v. Mary Geraldine Mowatt, Earl Wayne Mowatt

(B.C.)

Property – Real property – Acquisition of title by way of adverse possession

Mrs. Mary Geraldine Mowatt and Mr. Earl Wayne Mowatt, the respondents, live at properties bearing the civil addresses 1112 and 1114 Beatty St. in the City of Nelson, Province of British Columbia. They claim to have purchased both lots at the same time in 1992 from the former owner, Ms. Marquis. The Applicant, the City of Nelson, however, took the view that the lot bearing the civil address 1114 Beatty St. is a municipal road allowance and contends that it was escheated to the Crown after the dissolution of the land company that had owned it pursuant s. 3A of the Escheat Act, R.S.B.C. 1924, c. 81, as amended by S.B.C. 1929, c. 23, s. 2 in 1930-31. In the past, the City had directed Mrs. and Mr. Mowatt, and the former owner, to remove their buildings from the lot because it was City land. In order to clarify their title to the land, Mrs. and Mr. Mowatt took a petition seeking a judicial investigation of the disputed lot under the Land Title Inquiry Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 251, a declaration that they were the owners of the lot in fee simple in possession and an order that they had established good, safe-holding and marketable title in fee simple. The Supreme Court of British Columbia dismissed the Mowatt’s petition seeking a declaration of title. The Court of Appeal for British Columbia granted the appeal on the petition.