MANSFIELD - In what could be the first in a wave of evictions for adverse possession, constables in Mansfield entered a home Thursday afternoon that had been occupied by a squatter and his family.

Records show the man claimed the home under the law of adverse possession, and paid $16 to file an affidavit with the Tarrant County Clerk. Real estate agents discovered the squatter when they went to list the unoccupied home for the owner, who lives overseas.

Several North Texas counties have now stopped accepting the claims. More than 60 were filed in Tarrant County. Two men who seized Arlington homes using adverse possession have been arrested and charged with burglary.

By late afternoon, workers hired by the real estate agents had piled belongings on the front yard of the large home on Saint Mark Drive. Items included children's toys.

As the sun set, relatives of the man who filed the adverse possession claim arrived to collect their things. The man himself did not show up.


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