Nebraska Statutes: 76-301


76-301. Occupant or claimant; eviction by holder of better title; reimbursement for improvements and taxes paid.

Any person claiming title to real estate, whether in actual possession or not, for which he can show a plain and connected title, in law or equity, derived from the records of some public office, from the United States, or from this state, or anyone who has derived title from any such person by devise, descent, deed, contract or bond, shall not be evicted or turned out of possession of such real estate. His claim or title shall not be set aside or canceled by any court in any proceedings brought or commenced by any person setting up and proving an adverse and better title or claim to such real estate, until he shall be fully paid the value of all lasting and valuable improvements made upon such real estate by him or by those under whom he claims, and also for all taxes and assessments paid upon the real estate by him and the persons under whom he claims, with interest thereon at the same rate of interest as provided by law for delinquent taxes, and for all sums of money paid by him, or those under whom he claims, to redeem such real estate from any sale or sales for nonpayment of taxes previous to receiving actual notice by the commencement of suit on such adverse title or claim by which such eviction or cancellation may be had, unless the occupant or claimant shall refuse to pay the person so setting up and proving an adverse and better title the value of such real estate without improvements made thereon as aforesaid, upon the demand of the successful claimant as hereinafter provided.

Laws 1883, c. 59, § 1, p. 249;
R.S.1913, § 6255;
C.S.1922, § 5665;
C.S.1929, § 76-301;
R.S.1943, § 76-301.

1. Parties protected
Where claimant has been divested of all interest by prior judicial proceedings, he cannot in subsequent action claim benefit of Occupying Claimants Act. Hammond v. Harrington, 150 Neb. 1, 33 N.W.2d 293 (1948).

Where party does not enter upon land in good faith under claim of ownership, he does not come within the scope of Occupying Claimants Act. Ohme v. Thomas, 134 Neb. 727, 279 N.W. 480 (1938).

Ownership of claimant need not be estate in fee simple, but owner, occupying under contract of purchase, may claim homestead exemption. Doman v. Fenton, 96 Neb. 94, 147 N.W. 209 (1914).

In suit to quiet title, defendant who had transferred all his interest in land and improvements and surrendered possession to his grantee before action was commenced, is not entitled to relief under this article. Moreland v. Berger, 93 Neb. 724, 141 N.W. 831 (1913).

Section includes all deeds issued under lawful public authority which purport to convey title to real estate, including tax deeds and deeds issued under tax foreclosure. Bresee v. Parsons, 87 Neb. 327, 127 N.W. 123 (1910); Page v. Davis, 26 Neb. 670, 42 N.W. 875 (1889).

Section applies to occupants claiming under homestead laws. Wells v. Cox, 84 Neb. 26, 120 N.W. 433 (1909).

Act is valid, and is applicable though adverse claimant had title when enacted. Flanagan v. Mathisen, 78 Neb. 412, 110 N.W. 1012 (1907).

Devisees of life tenant cannot recover for improvements by devisor. Schimpf v. Rhodewald, 62 Neb. 105, 86 N.W. 908 (1901).

Section does not protect vendee in suit by vendor for cancellation of contract. Whiteman v. Perkins, 56 Neb. 181, 76 N.W. 547 (1898).

Even though taxes might be barred by limitations relating to tax foreclosures, occupying claimant is entitled to reimbursement for taxes paid. Lothrop v. Michaelson, 44 Neb. 633, 63 N.W. 28 (1895).

Claimant to recover must have acted in good faith. Carter v. Brown, 35 Neb. 670, 53 N.W. 580 (1892); Shuman v. Willetts, 19 Neb. 705, 28 N.W. 301 (1886).

2. Nature of allowance
Value of improvements placed on land by claimant under void tax foreclosure sale cannot be recovered. Wightman v. City of Wayne, 148 Neb. 700, 28 N.W.2d 575 (1947).

A claimant to compensation for improvements must have held the property under color of title to warrant a recovery. Williams v. Beckmark, 146 Neb. 814, 21 N.W.2d 745 (1946).

Occupying claimant, holding under void tax deed, is entitled to compensation for improvements. Bresee v. Parsons, 87 Neb. 327, 127 N.W. 123 (1910); Page v. Davis, 26 Neb. 670, 42 N.W. 875 (1889).

Allowance for improvements is measured by resulting increase in value of land. Gombert v. Lyon, 72 Neb. 319, 100 N.W. 414 (1904).

Allowance should not be made for rents and profits accruing after decree. Burlington & M. R.R. Co. v. Dobson, 19 Neb. 451, 27 N.W. 442 (1886).

3. Miscellaneous
Occupying claimant has the burden of pleading and proving the amount of taxes paid in order to recover reimbursement. Converse v. Kenyon, 178 Neb. 151, 132 N.W.2d 334 (1965).

Vendee out of possession was not an occupying claimant. Wlaschin v. Affleck, 167 Neb. 403, 93 N.W.2d 186 (1958).

Occupying claimant must make seasonable application for relief. LaBonty v. Lundgren, 58 Neb. 648, 79 N.W. 551 (1899).

Purchase of corporation’s property at tax sale after appointment of receiver is void, but tax deed issued thereunder will be canceled only on condition that grantee under tax deed be reimbursed for taxes paid and for improvements made on land. Brictson Mfg. Co. v. Close, 25 F.2d 794 (8th Cir. 1928).

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