The mishna in Kiddushin 26a talks about how one acquires property. It considers two cases, property that can be used for security (collateral) and property that can't. Land is in the first category.
It says that for items in the first category, one acquires the property by money, deed, or hazikah ("or", not "and"). I understand from the notes in my edition (Soncino) that hazakah means using the land in some way -- plowing the field, for example.
This made me wonder about adverse possession, a secular legal concept that if you publicly use property long enough without anybody objecting, it's yours, even if you can't show proof of a transaction.
This post at DIN Online says that halacha does not have the concept of adverse possession. It also goes on to say that real estate is acquired only by proving abandonment and by kinyan. It doesn't cite any sources.
We don't go to the mishna for halacha, I know, and I'm missing a lot of context. But I'm curious about the contradiction. Per halacha can one acquire property through use, without kinyan, deed, or money? If so, what are the general parameters (time limits, etc)? If not, on what is the halacha based?
(My gut feeling is that adverse possession isn't consistent with torah, but I'm seeking something more reliable than that. :-) )