State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_1 > GS_1-42

§1‑42.  Possession follows legal title; severance of surface andsubsurface rights.

In every action for therecovery or possession of real property, or damages for a trespass on suchpossession, the person establishing a legal title to the premises is presumedto have been possessed thereof within the time required by law; and theoccupation of such premises by any other person is deemed to have been under,and in subordination to, the legal title, unless it appears that the premiseshave been held and possessed adversely to the legal title for the timeprescribed by law before the commencement of the action. Provided that a recordchain of title to the premises for a period of thirty years next preceding thecommencement of the action, together with the identification of the landsdescribed therein, shall be prima facie evidence of possession thereof withinthe time required by law.

In all controversies andlitigation wherein it shall be made to appear from the public records thatthere has been at some previous time a separation or severance between thesurface and the subsurface rights, title or properties of an area, no holder orclaimant of the subsurface title or rights therein shall be entitled toevidence or prove any use of the surface, by himself or by his predecessors intitle or of lessees or agents, as adverse possession against the holder of saidsurface rights or title; and likewise no holder or claimant of the surfacerights shall be entitled to evidence or prove any use of the subsurface rights,by himself, or by his predecessors in title or of lessees or agents, as adversepossession against the holder of said subsurface rights, unless, in eithercase, at the time of beginning such allegedly adverse use and in each year ofthe same, said party or his predecessor in title so using shall have placed orcaused to be placed upon the records of the register of deeds of the countywherein such property lies and in a book therein kept or provided for suchpurposes, a brief notice of intended use giving (i) the date of beginning orrecommencing of the operation or use, (ii) a brief description of the propertyinvolved but sufficiently adequate to make said property readily locatabletherefrom, (iii) the name and, if known, the address of the claimant of theright under which the operation or use is to be carried on or made and (iv) thedeed or other instrument, if any, under which the right to conduct suchoperation or to make such use is claimed or to which it is to be attached. (C.C.P.,s. 25; Code, s. 146; Rev., s. 386; C.S., s. 432; 1945, c. 869; 1959, c. 469;1965, c. 1094.)