The Title Reporter: A Legal Update for the Title Insurance Industry

October 26, 2023 | Real Estate, Zoning & Land Use | Insurance Coverage

Here is what we cover in this issue of Title Insurance Update Autumn 2023

  • “Deed Theft: Recent New York Developments” explains that New York State prosecutors, and the New York State legislature, have been focusing on the growing problem of deed thefts.
  • A trial court in New York has granted summary judgment to a title insurer in a coverage dispute, finding that the title insurance policy’s “persons in possession” exception to coverage applied to the insured’s claim for damages stemming from an adjacent wall’s encroachment on the insured’s property.
  • A trial court in New York has dismissed a policyholder’s claims against a title insurance policy and a breach of contract claim against an agent for the title insurer.
  • A trial court in California has dismissed a lawsuit brought by a policyholder against her title insurance carrier after finding that the lawsuit was time barred.
  • An appellate court in Texas, affirming a trial court’s decision, has ruled that a title insurer that acted as the closer of a sale of real estate and as escrow agent in the transaction did not owe any duties to non-parties to the transaction.
  • An appellate court has affirmed a trial court’s decision in a breach of contract action, concluding that the trial court did not err in (i) upholding a contract to sell real estate by a seller who was not the titled owner, and (ii) finding that the seller had not committed fraud.
  • A trial court has ruled that a plaintiff did not have a prescriptive easement over a road abutting her property, finding that she failed to demonstrate continuous and uninterrupted use of the road for the statutory period.
  • A trial court in Connecticut has granted a defense motion to strike the plaintiffs’ group adverse possession claim as legally insufficient, reasoning that state law did not support collective claims for adverse possession.
  • An appellate court in Illinois has ruled that a trial court properly granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants on their counterclaim that they took by adverse possession the portion of their driveway that encroached on the plaintiffs’ property. The court reached this conclusion notwithstanding the plaintiffs’ contention that the plaintiffs and the defendants were unaware that the defendants’ use of that portion of the driveway was a trespass.
  • A state trial court has ruled that a defendant in a quiet title action failed to demonstrate that she owned by adverse possession a narrow strip of land between the property that she owned and her neighbor’s property line.
  • A trial court in Connecticut has granted summary judgment to a defendant in a personal injury action, finding that the defendant did not gain title, by adverse possession, to property on which the plaintiff allegedly had been injured.


Lawrence S. Han, Michael J. Heller and Matthew V. Spero

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