Statutes updated from Official Statutes on: January 26, 2022
Sec. 893.15, Stats., is long and complicated; it is not written as clearly as it might be. Nevertheless, it is clear that the facts of the instant case put the State's claim beyond the reach of the statutory bar. Sec. 893.15 (1), Stats., expressly states that "[s]uch notice or instrument recorded after the expiration of 30 years shall be likewise effective, except as to the rights of a purchaser for value. . ." Sec. 893.15, Stats., is therefore inapplicable in the instant case because the State recorded the instrument upon which its claim is based after the expiration of thirty years and the defendants are not purchasers for value within the definition of sec. 893.15(1) or 893.15(6), Stats.
The basic question is whether sec. 330.15 (1), Stats. 1963, now renumbered sec. 893.15, Stats. 1965, applies to claims based on adverse possession. We agree with the trial court that if this. section bars evidence of acts of adverse possession occurring prior to thirty years before commencement of the action that the evidence relating to acts within the thirty-year period is not sufficient to establish title in plaintiff by adverse possession. This evidence consisted only of the evidence and use of a gravel driveway located on the disputed land and the removal of weeds which grew in the driveway. This testimony is not clear or sufficient to prove the disputed property was used or cultivated or improved exclusively for the benefit of the plaintiff or that such use was of such a nature as would give notice of an exclusive dominion to the true owner or to the public. Casual weeding and the presence of part of a driveway on the disputed area under the circumstances of this case are not sufficient under Burkhardt v. Smith (1962), 17 Wis.2d 132, 115 N.W.2d 540.
The Wisconsin legislature, however, has unwisely retained section 893.15 in its entirety. The repeal or amendment of section 893.15 should be sought since the notice provisions are different. Retention of section 893.15 in its present form can only lead to uncertainty and litigation concerning the inconsistencies. . . .
Among illustrations: 21 U.S.C. § 1604 (allowing suits to proceed against certain biomaterial providers and providing that "[a]ny applicable statute of limitations shall toll during the period from the time a claimant files a petition with the Secretary under this paragraph until such time as either (i) the Secretary issues a final decision on the petition, or (ii) the petition is withdrawn," § 1604(b)(3)(C) ); 28 U.S.C. § 1332 (permitting the removal of "mass actions" to federal court and providing that "[t]he limitations periods on any claims asserted in a mass action that is removed to Federal court pursuant to this subsection shall be deemed tolled during the period that the action is pending in Federal court," § 1332(d)(11)(D) ); 42 U.S.C. § 233 (providing a remedy against the United States for certain injuries caused by employees of the Public Health Service, and stating that "[t]he time limit for filing a claim under this subsection ... shall be tolled during the pendency of a [n] [administrative] request for benefits," § 233(p)(3)(A)(ii) ). See also Wis. Stat. § 893.15( 3) (2011–2012) ("A Wisconsin law limiting the time for commencement of an action on a Wisconsin…
On any question of statutory construction, the initial inquiry is to the plain meaning of the statute. If the statute is unambiguous, resort to judicial rules of interpretation and construction is not permitted, and the words of the statute must be given their obvious and intended meaning. Wis. Bankers Ass'n v. Mut. Savings Loan, 96 Wis.2d 438, 450, 291 N.W.2d 869 (1980). A statute, phrase or word is ambiguous when it is capable of being interpreted by reasonably well-informed persons in either of two or more ways. Id. at 450. The plaintiffs contend, and the trial court held, that the provisions of sec. 893.15(4), Stats. (1977), unambiguously preclude the defendants from relying on sec. 893.15(1). The trial court reasoned that since the real estate in the instant case was owned by a specified public entity, the defendants could not use sec. 893.15 to bar the plaintiffs' claim. The trial court concluded that the plaintiffs were entitled to raise their claim of a reversionary interest, even though it was based on a deed older than thirty years.
Section 893.15, Florida Statutes (1993), refers to subdivisions 893.13(1)(f) and (g). However, the legislature amended section 893.13, effective January 1, 1994, eliminating subdivisions 893.13(1)(f) and (g). See ch. 93-406, § 23, Laws of Florida. The legislature directed the Division of Statutory Revision of the Joint Legislative Management Committee to prepare a reviser's bill to conform all cross-references to section 893.13 as amended. See ch. 93-406, § 33, Laws of Florida. Pursuant to this section, the legislature subsequently amended section 893.15 to refer to persons who violated subdivision 893.13(6)(a) or (b). See ch. 94-107, § 3, Laws of Florida.
Finally, it appears that the first time the plaintiff raised Wis. Stat. §893.15 was at the December hearing, and defense counsel argued at that hearing that the court should not consider that statute in making its decision. Even had the plaintiff raised the argument in his pleadings, however, it would not have assisted him. The title of §893.15 is "Effect of an action in a non-Wisconsin forum on a Wisconsin cause of action." Section 893.15( 2) says that in a non-Wisconsin forum, the time of commencement or final disposition of an action is determined by the law of the non-Wisconsin forum. This makes sense and is sort of a Wisconsin statutory version of Hanna; if a plaintiff sues on a Wisconsin cause of action in a court other than a Wisconsin state court, that court's law applies in determining when the case "commenced." If the plaintiff had filed his case in federal court in the first instance, Rule 3 would have governed the date upon which he "commenced" his action, and under §893.15(3), the Wisconsin statute of limitations would have been tolled until the federal case was complete. But this statute doesn't substitute a federal statute of…
Scates was convicted of purchasing a small amount of cocaine for personal use. The State argues that section 397.12 cannot apply here because it only relates to possession. See § 397.011(2), Fla. Stat. (1989); § 893.15, Fla. Stat. (1989) (expressly providing that chapter 397 is an alternative to sentencing under sections 893.13(1)(f) and (1)(g) (applying to possession of drugs)). We disagree. Section 397.12 does not limit itself to possessory offenses under chapter 893. Section 397.10 manifests the intent to help drug addicts without incarcerating them. For purposes of section 397.12, we fail to see any difference between possessing cocaine for personal use and purchasing a small amount of cocaine for personal use.
Thus, for the foregoing reasons, I conclude that Bijou brought the present action within the applicable limitation period. Bijou's action may also be timely as the result of Wis. Stat. § 893.15(3), which provides that "a Wisconsin law limiting the time for commencement of an action on a Wisconsin cause of action is tolled from the period of commencement of the action in a non-Wisconsin forum until the time of its final disposition in that forum." However, because I have resolved the issue under § 402.725, I need not consider the applicability of § 893.15(3).
If a period of limitation prescribed in s. 893.15 (5), 1977 stats., has begun to run prior to July 1, 1980, an action shall be commenced within the period prescribed by s. 893.15, 1977 stats., or 40 years after July 1, 1980, whichever first terminates.