SUMMIT VETERINARY SERVICES, LLC, Plaintiff-Appellant/Counterclaim Defendant,
MARLYN J. TINDLE AND TONI M. TINDLE, Defendants-Appellees/Counterclaim Plaintiffs.
from the Iowa District Court for Madison County, Patrick W.
Veterinary Services appeals the order quieting title in
certain real property to Dr. Marlyn Tindle and Toni Tindle.
Matthew J. Hemphill of Bergkamp, Hemphill & McClure,
P.C., Adel, for appellant.
F. Wallace and Abigail L. Thiel of Simpson, Jensen, Abels,
Fischer & Bouslog, P.C., Des Moines, for appellees.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.
Veterinary Services, LLC, (Summit Veterinary) appeals the order
quieting title in certain real property to Dr. Marlyn Tindle
and Toni Tindle. The sole question before us is whether the
Tindles proved their claim of adverse possession. Because the
Tindles have proved they adversely possessed the land in
question for a period of more than ten years, we affirm.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
1977, the Tindles purchased a home on West Summit Street in
Winterset, and Dr. Tindle operates his chiropractic clinic on
the same property. The property is bordered on the north by
West Summit Street (also known as Old Highway 92) and on the
west by U.S. Highway 169. Abutting the Tindles' property
on the east is a parcel of land upon which a veterinary
clinic was built in 1979. Summit Veterinary purchased the
veterinary clinic in 2015.
to both the veterinary clinic and the Tindles' property
is by a gravel driveway from West Summit Street. An asphalt
driveway runs from the Tindle home to the east, paralleling
West Summit Street, transitions to gravel at its east end,
and then turns north to intersect with West Summit Street.
This is the Tindles only means of accessing their property.
The Tindles' driveway was gravel when they purchased the
property and over the years Dr. Tindle had it paved. In 1979,
the veterinary clinic's first owner constructed a fence
south of and parallel to where the asphalt driveway now runs.
Dr. Tindle assisted in the construction of the fence and has
maintained it over the years.
Tindles constructed two carports on the north side of the
driveway. They built the westernmost carport in 2000 to house
Dr. Tindle's truck and snowplow. In 2006, they began
construction on a second carport to the east for use in a
used-car business they began operating in 2002. Since 2002,
the Tindles have displayed the used cars for sale by parking
them along the north side of the asphalt driveway.
Veterinary initiated the present action after a review of a
property survey revealed that it owned the land north of the
fence, on which the asphalt driveway and carports are
located. Summit Veterinary filed a petition seeking to quiet
title to the real estate in its favor. The Tindles
counterclaimed, alleging they acquired title to the property
by adverse possession. The district court found the Tindles
proved their adverse-possession claim and quieted title to
the disputed property to the Tindles. Summit Veterinary appeals.
Scope and Standard of Review.
"[a]dverse possession is established by a quiet title
action, an equitable proceeding, " our review is de
novo. See Sille v. Shaffer, 297 N.W.2d 379, 380
(Iowa 1980). Although the trial court's findings are not
binding on us, we give them deference because we recognize
the trial court had the opportunity to observe the witnesses