I. ASPECTS OF PROPERTY RIGHTS AND CLAIMS
– A person has a property interest if he has any right w/regard to something the law will protect against infringement by others
– Real: land and any structures on it
– Personal: all other types
*Property rights serve human value. (Human rights prevail over Property rights)
*Supremacy clause: Federal law supercedes state law; a state cannot interfere with the applicability of federal law.
– Possession v. Title
– Possession: have dominion and control over land or personal property (no title necessary)
– Title: “ownership” (i.e. tenant in apt has possession of it but landlord has title)
– Rights in land derive from government and are then transferred to others.
– Government has often distributed property based on possession even when possessors violate prior law.
Actual possession of a contested resource often creates a presumption of a right to possess that may be rebutted only by evidence of a superior claim
i. PUBLIC RIGHTS OF ACCESS AND THE RIGHT TO EXCLUDE
Right to Use: not absolute – court balances if individual right to control your property outweighs right of others to it or other’s harm
Right to Exclude – depends on who/what (is it essential?)/why excluded (no absolute right to exclude)
*Right to exclusive possession
a. Why should there be a right to exclude?
1) Self-fulfillment: use property as we choose
2) Cost to owner: burden on owner to have to prove that the reason for excluding is legitimate
3) Market will solve (market theory): if one person excludes, another will benefit from excluded person’s business
– Questionable that money should be made from discrimination
(a) Creates stereotypes – stereotypes harmful b/c the stronger they are, the harder on market b/c we hurt market efficiency
(b) Hurts profits
(c) Pain of exclusion – people excluded are hurt
ii. PUBLIC RIGHTS OF ACCESS TO PROPERTY: RULES LIMITING THE RIGHT TO EXCLUDE NONOWNERS
State v. Shack
– Tejeras and Shack entered upon private property against the orders of the owners of that property, to aid migrant farm-workers employed and housed there
– RULE: real property rights are not absolute; and “necessity, private or public, may justify entry upon the lands of another – this rule is based upon the basic rationale that “property rights serve human values” (i.e. First Amendment Right to Freedom on Speech)
– This case illustrates the central limitation on the right to possession or use of private property (i.e. it may not be used to harm others)
*Employer, property owner, does however have a right to require guests to identify themselves and state the purpose of the visit.
*Supremacy clause: Federal law supercedes state law.
– The rights granted in the Constitution are not that extensive; a person needs positive law created by a state to further protect their rights.
A. Place that invites public necessarily limits
vity in relation to the use of the property
– Malls replace downtown retail and social centers (aka publc centers)
– Free Speech (based on Marsh v. Alabama) “shopping centers = downtown district. Districts and private owners cannot interfere w/ exercise of free speech.”
– Expressional rights = private property rights.
– Mass communication.
*Malls have a general invitation.
– Pruneyard – case where US Supreme Court decided that each state can decide whether or not it wanted to allow the right to access.
– Mohn v. Martz Mountain Industries (Mill Creek)
ii. Federal v. State property laws
– Federal constitutional protection of property rights distinct from property rights in state statutes or common law
– Federal constitutional law defines minimum level of protection for property rights that the states may not infringe
– As long as state’s don’t deprive citizens of core property interests protected by constitution, they are free to define and restrict property rights
iii. Labor organizations
– Federal statues provide some rights of access for free speech purposes (e.g. to picket)