from the Vermillion Circuit Court The Honorable Robert M.
Hall, Special Judge Trial Court Cause No. 83C01-1706-MI-16
Attorney for Appellant Ronald J. Severt Covington, Indiana
Attorney for Appellee Jon P. McCarty Covington, Indiana
Scott Shields ("Shields") challenges a judgment
entered in favor of the Town of Perrysville (the
"Town") upon its action to quiet title. The action
concerns the location of an alley adjacent to Shields's
property. The dispositive issue is whether the court clearly
erred in concluding the alley was located where the Town
contended-which means Shields built a fence outside his
and Procedural History
Shields has an interest in property within the Town that the
parties refer to as Lot 4. Shields obtained a survey of Lot 4
(the "Survey"), which shows a stone drive within
Lot 4 running roughly north-south. The Survey shows an alley
several feet west of the stone drive-running north-south,
between Lots 4 and 5. The Survey shows an outbuilding on Lot
5 almost entirely obstructing the alley.
After obtaining the Survey, Shields built a fence along the
purported western boundary of Lot 4 depicted in the Survey.
Shields built the fence a few feet from the Lot 5 outbuilding
and began parking on the stone drive east of the fence.
Neighbors complained, contending Shields was parking in the
The Town filed the instant action to quiet title, alleging
Shields "erected a fence [that] has completely
obstructed the believed location of the alley" in which
the Town obtained interest through a platted and recorded
deed. App. Vol. II at 9. The Town also alleged it had an
enforceable right to remove the fence due to the doctrine of
title by acquiescence. A bench trial was held, which included
testimony from Mike Bowman ("Bowman"), President of
the Town Council.
Bowman testified that, as a child, he rode his bicycle down
an alley east of the Lot 5 outbuilding. He testified that the
outbuilding was once used as a mechanic's garage, with
the garage facing the alley. Bowman testified that he went to
the area and measured, and that if the alley was located
where the Survey shows-west of the stone drive-the location
would not accommodate the widths of lots to the west. He
testified that if one instead begins measuring at the edge of
the stone drive-"where the old alley would have
been"-and measures to the west, "there's enough
footage for all [the] lots." Tr. at 49.
There was also testimony from the surveyor who completed the
Survey. He testified that he used 170-year-old records and
that there were no obvious "monuments" or landmarks
to use to correlate those records with the current observed
conditions. Id. at 9-10. His conclusion as to the
location of the alley was his "educated opinion,"
and he estimated the location of the property lines with a
three-foot uncertainty in the east-west dimension.
Id. at 17-18.
The trial court entered judgment in favor of the Town,
ordering (1) "that the alley shall remain as designated
by the Town and not by the [S]urvey," and (2) "that
the Town has title to the area by acquiescence." App.
Vol. II at 11. The trial court also ...