U.S. Supreme Court
Bradshaw v. Ashley, 180 U.S. 59 (1901)
Bradshaw v. Ashley
Argued November 1, 1900
Decided January 14, 1901
180 U.S. 59
When, in an action of ejectment, the plaintiff proves that, on a day named, he was in the actual, undisturbed and quiet possession of the premises, and the defendant thereupon entered and ousted him, the plaintiff has proved a prima facie case, the presumption of title arises from the possession, and, unless the defendant prove a better title, he must himself be ousted.
Although the defendant proves that some third person, with whom he in no manner connects himself, has title, this does him no good, because the prior possession of the plaintiff is sufficient to authorize him to maintain the action against a trespasser, and, the defendant being himself without title and not connecting himself with any title, cannot justify an ouster of the plaintiff.
In Sabariego v. Maverick, 124 U. S. 261, the latest case in this Court on the subject, the rule is stated to be that a person who is in possession of premises under color of right, which possession bad been continuous and not abandoned, gave thereby sufficient proof of title as against an intruder or wrongdoer who entered without right.
That case expresses the true rule prevailing in the District of Columbia, as well as elsewhere.
The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.