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Baba Basra 3:3-4

Baba Basra 3:3

A chazaka without a defense is no chazaka at all. For example, if one person asks another, “What are you doing in my field?” and the other replies, “No one ever objected,” it is not a chazaka. If he replies that the first person sold it to him or gave it to him as a gift, or that the first person’s father sold it or gave it to him, it is a chazaka. If he received the field as an inheritance, he doesn’t need a defense. Craftsmen, joint property owners, sharecroppers and those who manage the property of minors have no chazaka. A husband has no chazaka regarding his wife's property, nor she regarding his, nor a father regarding his son's property, nor the son regarding his. This is the case when one of these people is in possession of the property but if it was given as a gift, if brothers divided property, or if one took possession of a convert’s property (referring to a case where the convert died without leaving any heirs), then if the person in possession installed so much as a lock or a fence, or if he breached the fence even the smallest amount, it is a chazaka.

Baba Basra 3:4

If two witnesses testify that the defendant occupied the property for three years and they were discovered to be false witnesses, they must pay the plaintiff the entire value of the property. If two witnesses testify falsely about the first year, another two testify falsely about the second year, and still another two testify falsely about the third year, the penalty is divided among them. If three brothers each testify falsely about a different year, each of them joining testimony with a different person, this is considered three separate testimonies but they are considered one testimony regarding committing a conspiracy to perjure (and they divide the penalty accordingly).

Author: Rabbi Jack Abramowitz