Have You Heard of River Dave?

A Canterbury man, known as River Dave, 81 years old, is now in jail.  River Dave says that's where he will stay if he is not allowed to return back to the place that he has called home for the past 27 years, according to a report from WMUR.  The owner of the land wants him to take his belongings and vacate the property.

River Dave's Real Name is David Lindstone

People around the Canterbury area know River Dave and have helped him from time to time with food and other necessities of living.  Dave lives off the grid, however, he does have a cell phone, collects social security and shops when he needs to.

Court Records Show He Does Not Own The Land He's Been Living On

The report says that the owners of the land lives in Vermont and owns several parcels of land in New Hampshire.  Reportedly, he has been trying to get River Dave to leave for several years.

The report quotes River Dave as saying,

I will sit here until my body rots, but you will not beat me, sir.....I will sit here until I rot, or I will go home.

There is a Thing Called Adverse Possession

New Hampshire does not have "adverse possession" laws in their statues, according to courts-state-nh-us-libguides.com.  If they did, although I am not a lawyer, River Dave might have a chance at going back to the house he built and they land that he believes is his.

From what I read from adverse possession from the above article and from nashualaw.com, here are some of the requirements of gaining the property via "adverse possession."

  • The use of the land must be without the owner of record's permission
  • The owner of record must be aware of the occupation
  • Occupation must be continuous, uninterrupted and exclusive
  • Occupant must act as if they own the property
  • Must be for at least 20 years

Again, I am not an attorney.  I would highly recommend that River Dave get one.

This whole circumstance reminds me of a movie called, "The Field," starring Richard Harris.  See the trailer here:

You can also see WMUR's NH Chronicle story here:

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