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Property (Land Finance)
Rutgers University, Newark School of Law
Ball, Carlos A.

Property – Ball – 2016

I. Acquisition of Property Interests (NOT PURCHASE)

SEVEN WAYS TO ACQUIRE PROPERTY

Property WITHOUT an owner. A acquires title through

A is the owner. B acquires title through

Adverse Possession

EASIEST, MOST OBVIOUS WAY TO ACQUIRE PROPERTY?

A. Acquisition by Discovery

Real Property = LAND, THINGS FIXED, INCIDENTAL OR APPURTENANT TO LAND.
Personal Property = ANYTHING ELSE, Tangible OR Intangible – MOVABLE

Intellectual Property
Chattels – tangible personal property

“BUNDLE” of Property and RIGHTS:

ALIENATION – Ability to transfer land through sale/gift/conveyance
EXCLUSION – Ability to keep people off your land!

Remedies for PERSONAL PROPERTY

Replevin – Get the property back
Trouver – Money Damages

Remedies for REAL PROPERTY

Ejectment – Get the property back or get the other person off it.
Trespass – Money Damages

Johnson v. M’Intosh

Rule: An absolute title to land cannot exist in two different parties.

Case with the Indian land grant to P, Government land grant to D.
Indians did not have TITLE – Discovery or conquest gave right to extinguish Indian’s title – Stems from European claim of title which transferred to US after Revolution.

1. First In Time – RATHER WEAK
Locke’s Labor Theory – through your labor, you add value to land.
Haslem v. Lockwood – Manure Case – person who adds value has a stronger claim.

LAW OF ACCESSION – Adding value through labor or new materials.

B. Acquisition by Capture

Pierson v. Post

Rule: Pursuit is not enough to establish possession

Case with fox hunters. D was chasing, P kills, held for P.
CONTROL over the animal must be shown – chasing =/= control

Incentivizing control
Control is a way to prevent conflict, as it is easily defineable.

Dicta – if you mortally wound or capture it, that would count as control.

Keeble v. Hickeringill

Rule: When one commits an act of violence or malice to interfere with another’s use of his personal property, there exists a cause of action.

Decoy Duck Pond Case

Competition vs. Sabotage
Recovery was based on DISTURBANCE (trespass) on land.
Abuse of Right Doctrine – if use your property in a way that harms another.
Ratione Soli – “According to the Soil” – thing on your land belong to you

Popov v. Hayashi

Rule: An actor has a pre-possessory right if 3 criteria are met:

1. Actor takes a significant but incomplete step to achieve possession of the abandoned personal property
2. This step is interrupted by unlawful conduct of third party/parties
3. If 1 & 2 are met, the actor has a pre-possessory interest, which constitutes a qualified right to possession.

Dominion and control, and intent to possess must be concurrent -P had the intent but control was shaky whereas D had control and intent.

Barry Bond’s Home Run Ball case.
NOTES:

Kind of specific to this type of case.
Balls are abandoned property if players cannot recover them.

C. Acquisition by Creation

International News Service v. Associated Press

Rule: When the rights or privileges of a business are likely to be in conflict with those of a competitor, each party has a duty to conduct their business in a way that does not injure the other party in an unnecessary or unfair way.

Case where INS was copying the AP’s news stories.

“NEWS” is a quasi-property, as it can be used for profit and effort is expended in acquiring it.
The “News” itself is not the creation of the writer, and is therefore common property.

Cheney Brothers v. Doris Silk Corp.

Rule: Imitation is not violative of a person’s right to their chattels.

Case where D copied P’s silk designs

Preventing imitation leads to monopolies!
If Court extended liability for this (instead of going through the regular channels) then they’d basically be creating a common-law copyright/trademark system.

Smith v. Chanel, Inc.

Rule: Spending money doesn’t guarantee you legal rights.

Chanel perfume imitation case

Chanel’s perfume formula was unpatented.
Imitation is good for capitalism – creates competition in supply and pricing, helps get cheaper goods to more people.

IP law grants a limited monopoly over protected material for a limited time period.

PATENT – granted for processes or products that are novel, useful and non-obvious (NO: laws of nature, physical phenomenon or abstract idea

st claim against all but the TRUE OWNER.

P finds the ring, D steals the jewel case.

FINDER v. POSESSOR or FIRST v. SECOND POSSESSOR
Trouver – money damages for CONVERSION of chattel.
Bailment – Bailee is granted possession by the bailor.
Replevin – YOU WANT THE CHATTEL BACK
Owner gives chattel to Bailee, Bailee sells it to Good Faith Purchaser. Owner can seek trouver from Bailee ONLY (cannot seek trouver or replevin from GFP)
STOLEN – owner can go after either the thief or the GFP, as thieves cannot pass good title regardless of GFP’s good faith.

Hannah v. Peel

Rule: No really good rule here – more like the test above.

P finds brooch in D’s home during the war Case.

FINDER v. LOCUS OWNER case.
D owned the locus (home) but never took possession.
Bridges v. Hawkesworth

Lost Money on the floor of the Shop Case.

FINDER is entitled to lost property against all but true owner.
Lost rather than mislaid.Lost without any intentional act.

South Straffordshire Water Co. v. Sharman

RULE: If one finds property as the servant of another, the employer has title.
Employee finds ring embedded in the mud Case.
Found for landowner.Landowner in this case became true owner.

Elwes v. Briggs

Finds prehistoric boat Case.
RULE: Owner of Land has title to everything attached to or under his land.

McAvoy v. Medina

Rule: A finder of property acquires no rights in mislaid property

Pocketbook in the barbershop case.

FINDER v. LOCUS OWNER
Nature of the chattel (pocketbook) + location where it is found (business) determines the outcome.
Mislaid because the action was theoretically intentional.
Locus owner most likely to return, given knowledge they have.