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The process whereby an individual who is in Adverse Possession of real property adds his or her period of possession to that of a prior adverse possessor.
In order for title to property to vest in an adverse possessor, occupancy must be continuous, regular, and uninterrupted for the full statutory period. If privity exists between the parties, such that one possessor gives possession of the land to the next, the time periods that the successive occupants have had possession of the property may be added or tacked together to meet the continuity requirement.
Tacking is allowed only when no time lapses between the end of one occupant's possession and the beginning of another's occupancy. In addition, possession by the prior occupant must have been adverse or under color of title.
TACKING, Eng. law. The union of securities given at different times, so as
to prevent any intermediate purchasers claiming title to redeem, or
otherwise discharge one lien, which is prior, without redeeming or
discharging other liens also, which are subsequent to his own title. Jer.
Eq. Jur. B. 1, c. 2, Sec. 1, p. 188 to 191; 1 Story, Eq. Jur. Sec. 412.
2. It is an established doctrine in the English chancery that a bona fide purchaser and without any notice of a defect in his title at the time of the purchase, may lawfully buy any statute, mortgage, or encumbrance, and if he can defend by those at law, his adversary shall have no help in equity to set those encumbrances aside, for equity will not disarm such a purchaser. And as mortgagees are considered in equity as purchasers pro tanto, the same doctrine has extended to them, and a mortgagee who has advanced his money without notice of any prior encumbrance, may, by getting an assignment of a statute, judgment, or recognizance, protect himself from any encumbrance subsequent to such statute, judgment or recognizance, though prior to his mortgage; that is, he will be allowed to tack or unite his mortgage to such old security, and will by that means be entitled to recover all moneys for which such security was given, together with the money due on his mortgage, before the prior. mortgagees are entitled to recover anything. 2 Fonb. Eq. 306; 2 Cruise, t. 15, c. 5, s. 27; Powell on Morg. Index, h.t.; 1 Vern. 188; 8 Com. Dig. 953; Madd. Ch. Index, h.t.
3. This doctrine is inconsistent with the laws of the several states, which require the recording of mortgages. Caines' Cas. Er. 112; 1 Hop. C. R. 231; 3 Pick. 50; 2 Pick. 517.
4. The doctrine of tacking seems to have been acknowledged in the civil law, Code, 8, 27, 1; but see Dig. 13, 7, 8; and see 7 Toull. 110. But this tacking could not take place to the injury of intermediate encumbrancers. Story on Eq. Sec. 1010, and the authorities cited in the note.