Per 2017 Wisconsin Act 59 (signed September 21, 2017), the Wisconsin Rental Weatherization program sunsets January 1, 2018.
Effective September 21, 2017, validations of stipulations and waivers will be discontinued and are no longer required.
This decision is certainly one for property law casebooks, and it provides a new test that will now play a major role in regulatory-takings litigation. It’s not clear, however, that the stakes are quite as high as the opinions suggest. The denominator question, after all, is just a preliminary step; courts must then decide whether a taking occurred, applying (as relevant here) the tests from Penn Central Transportation Co. v. New York City or Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council. In some cases — like this one — judges may be able to agree on whether a taking has occurred despite disagreement on what constitutes the denominator. Moreover, the Penn Central test, the usual test in regulatory-takings cases, is famous for the broad discretion it affords courts. Whether the denominator test preferred by the dissent and the Murrs would actually have spurred courts to find more takings, despite their broad discretion at the second step of the process, is an interesting but unclear empirical question. The more certain result of Murr is that the takings analysis is now more complex. Courts and litigators will spend the coming years interpreting the Supreme Court’s new, open-textured definition of the takings denominator. http://www.scotusblog.com/2017/06/opinion-analysis-regulatory-takings-case-court-announces-new-test/
Pursuant to WIS. STAT. § 893.25(2)(a) and (b), real estate is possessed adversely only if “the person possessing it, in connection with his or her predecessors in interest, is in actual continued occupation under claim of title, exclusive of any other right,” and “[o]nly to the extent that it is actually occupied.” In addition, the property must be “protected by a substantial enclosure” or “usually cultivated or improved.” Pursuant to § 893.25(1), the adverse possession must be uninterrupted for twenty years. In order to constitute adverse possession, “the use of the land must be open, notorious, visible, exclusive, hostile and continuous, such as would apprise a reasonably diligent landowner and the public that the possessor claims the land as his own.” “Hostile” in this context does not mean a deliberate and unfriendly animus; rather, the law presumes the element of hostile intent if the other requirements of open, notorious, continuous, and exclusive use are satisfied. “Both ... the fact of possession and its real adverse character” must be sufficiently open and obvious to “apprize the true owner ... in the exercise of reasonable diligence of the fact and of an intention to usurp the possession of that which in law is his own ....” The size and nature of the disputed area are relevant in deciding if the use is sufficient to apprise the true owner of an adverse claim. No. 2012AP1869 6 The party seeking to claim title by adverse possession bears the burden of proving the elements by clear and positive evidence. The evidence must be strictly construed against the claimant and all reasonable presumptions must be made in favor of the true owner. One of these presumptions is that “actual possession is subordinate to the right of [the true] owner.” Steuck Living Trust v. Easley, 2010 WI App 74, ¶¶11-15, 325 Wis. 2d 455, 785 N.W.2d 631.