Legal protection against third parties based on possession as required for acquisitive prescription
Supreme Court order 1 September 2021, HR-2021-1773-A, (case no. 21-042786SIV-HRET), civil case, appeal against order.
Steinar Mathisen (Counel Helge Skaaraas) v. Bank Norwegian ASA
(Counsel Kjetil Vangsnes)
Justices: Skoghøy, Falkanger, Noer, Bergsjø, Steinsvik
A buyer of immovable property had failed to register the purchase, which took place in 1998. He had had the property since the purchase and used it as his own. In 2019, one of the seller's creditors, that was still the registered owner, levied execution on the property and petitioned for forced sale. The Supreme Court's majority of four justices found, as opposed to the District Court and the Court of Appeal, that there is a basis for laying down a rule on legal protection against third parties based on possession as required for acquisitive prescription, in extension of the provision on acquisitive prescription proper in section 21 subsection 2 second sentence of the Registration of Property Act. References were made to statements in the preparatory works to the Registration of Property Act and legal literature, to statements given in connection with subsequent legislative work, and to the considerations behind the legal protection rules in the Act. As the conditions for acquisitive prescription were otherwise met, the buyer had obtained legal protection towards the seller's creditors. The petition for forced sale was rejected. Dissent 4-1.