Work the following problems.
According to the doctrine of adverse possession, a person occupying a piece of land in a way that is open, notorious, and hostile to the owner’s rights can claim ownership of the land after a certain number of years of continuous occupancy. In this connection, Dr. Wacko, a mad scientist, hauled telescopes and radio antennas to the top of Mica Peak every night for twenty years to detect extraterrestrial life. At the end of the period he petitioned the court for a decree stating that he owned Mica Peak under the theory of adverse possession. Tom Bell, the owner of Mica Peak, attempts to defeat Dr. Wacko’s petition. Construct two arguments, one supporting Dr. Wacko’s position, the other supporting Tom Bell’s position. The statutory period for adverse possession in this jurisdiction is twenty years, and there are two controlling cases:
Crick v. Hoskins: Crick occupied a house in Centerville that was owned by Hoskins. She lived in the house continuously, mowed the lawn weekly, and parked her car in front. After twenty years she petitioned the court for a decree stating that she owned the property under the theory of adverse possession, and the court granted the decree against the objections of Hoskins.
Raymond v. McBride: Raymond set up a large tent on a piece of rural property owned by McBride and lived in it for nine months each year. During the remaining three months, heavy snow made the property inaccessible. After twenty years Raymond petitioned the court for a decree stating that he owned the property under the theory of adverse possession, and the court denied Raymond’s petition.