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An individual who settles on the land of another person without any legal authority to do so, or without acquiring a legal title.

In the past, the term squatter specifically applied to an individual who settled on public land. Currently it is used interchangeably with intruder and trespasser.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


see SQUAT.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

SQUATTER. One who settles on the lands of others without any legal authority; this term is applied particularly to persons who settle on the public land. 3 Mart. N. S. 293.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Essential (Clearance of Squatters) Regulations, 1969 is more strict as to the demolition of squatter huts because there is no consideration as to the length of period of occupation as provided under the Federal Capital (Squatters Clearance) By-Laws, 1963.
The corporation loaned the squatters money to help them buy the land.
Cheo said the establishment of the special task force, apart from solving residents' woes, was also aimed at creating a 'win-win' situation between the developers and squatters.
The penal rent of the land would be recovered from the squatters, said a press release issued here on Wednesday.
This is the style used by some residents within the Coast region, dubbed "professional squatters" by security agents.They prey on idle land, build makeshift houses and wait for compensation.
The area, known as the Kiosk Estate, is about two acres, and because the settlement is unplanned, open defecation is a common sight, as the squatters hide in the bushes along the motorway to discharge their faeces.
Moreover, forest department has also identified and demarcated its land and an action plan to retrieve state land from squatters was being given final shape, the DC said while presiding over a meeting here.
People already living on the Yew Tree Hill estate, Droitwich, claimed last week the delay has allowed squatters to break into properties, which are priced from PS200,000 to more than PS300,000.
The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said the Duterte administration should not make haste in relocating squatter families as it embarks on an ambitious project to rehabilitate Manila Bay.
And the squatters? Government should be tough on them.
He said since 2015, 46 residential squatters had been identified in Makolwane, Buuhe (Metsiaela) and Sekwe while Tawana and Letsibogo registered 65 and 39 squatters respectively.
Bailiffs moved in just after 6am to evict 28 squatters, who were part of a group known as 'We R', along with their dog and several new-born puppies.