Mandate Issued: 03/21/2018
FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF McCURTAIN COUNTY, OKLAHOMA
HONORABLE GARY BROCK, JUDGE AFFIRMED
H. Ellis, Idabel, Oklahoma, for Plaintiff/Appellant,
Brown, Hugo, Oklahoma, for Defendants/Appellees.
Mitchell, Presiding Judge
Defendant/Appellant Todd Alan Sheets (East Landowner) appeals
from a partial journal entry of judgment in which the trial
court found that Plaintiffs/Appellees Joe Salinas and Pauline
Taylor (Salinas, Taylor or, collectively, West Landowners)
owned all right, title and interest to a disputed piece of
real property adjoining the parties' properties. We find
the trial court's finding that the boundary line had been
established by acquiescence for the statutory period is not
against the clear weight of the evidence. We also find East
Landowner failed to prove the trial court imposed an improper
burden of proof. We affirm the judgment.
The parties are adjacent landowners in McCurtain County. A
dispute developed between the parties in 2010 about the use
and ownership of about eight acres (the Disputed Property)
located, depending on which party is asked, on either side of
two different boundary lines adjoining the parties'
properties. East Landowner sought to quiet title to the
Disputed Property, claiming that the property was encompassed
within the west boundary line established by survey. West
Landowners sought to quiet title to the Disputed Property
under the doctrines of adverse possession and/or boundary by
acquiescence, claiming that an older fence to the east of the
survey line had historically served as the boundary between
the two properties. After a non-jury trial, the trial court
found that West Landowners owned all right, title and
interest to the property under both the doctrines of adverse
possession and boundary by acquiescence.  East Landowner
STANDARD OF REVIEW
An action to quiet title is an action of equitable
cognizance, and the judgment of the trial court will be
affirmed unless found to be against the clear the weight of
the evidence. Krosmico v. Pettit, 1998 OK 90,
¶23, 968 P.2d 345, 351. Questions of law are reviewed by
a de novo standard. See Hogg v. Oklahoma Cnty.
Juvenile Bureau, 2012 OK 107, ¶5, 292 P.3d 29, 33.
The credibility of witnesses and the effect and weight to be
given to their testimony are questions of fact to be
determined by the trier of fact and are not questions of law
for the appellate court on appeal. Hagen v. Indep. School
Dist. No. I-004, 2007 OK 19, ¶8, 157 P.3d 738, 740.
Bonnie French originally owned all the land involved in this
case. Bonnie built a fence (the older fence), running from
the north to the south, on the east side of her property.
Bonnie conveyed the northwest and southwest tracts to her
nephew, Willie French, at some point in the 1960s. Willie
sold the southwest tract to Clyde Neill in the early 1970s.
Neill owned the property for approximately one year before
selling it to Jimmy Hughitt. Hughitt also bought the
northwest tract from Willie French in approximately 1978.
Hughitt leased both western tracts to West Landowners
beginning in 2004, and then sold both tracts to West
Landowners in 2010.
Bonnie retained ownership of the eastern property until she
died in approximately 1994; Joe French, Sr. inherited the
property after her death. When he died in 1999, his son, Joe
French, Jr., acquired the property. Joe French, Jr. sold the
property to East Landowner and his father, Alan Sheets, in
2004. East Landowner became the sole owner of the property
when Alan died in 2010. In 2010, East Landowner built a fence
running north/south on the survey boundary line on the
western side of the Disputed Property. He also erected a gate
blocking West Landowners' access to a road which passed
through the Disputed Property and which served as West
Landowners' only access to their property. The present
None of the parties disputed that the older north/south fence
existed on the eastern side of the Disputed Property, and
none of the parties disputed the location of the survey
boundary line to the west. However, the parties disputed
whether a second fence had existed at the survey boundary
line. The ...