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Property I
Southern University Law Center
Vance, Shawn D.

Common, Public, and Private things
i. Common things are insusceptible of any ownership, public things are insusceptible of private ownership, private things are susceptible of private ownership.
ii. 449 = Common Things
1. May NOT be owned by ANYONE
2. May be freely used by everyone comfortably as nature intended.
3. Ex. Atmospheric Air and High seas
4. Everyone may reduce finite air into their ownership
5. Airspace above property belongs to the owner of the ground and is private, however it may be used for aerial traffic above certain altitudes.
6. Although the high seas is common, they constitute a fishery conservation zone subject to US jurisdiction for 200 miles from the coast.
iii. 450 = Public things
1. Owned by state or political subdivisions in their capacity as public persons
2. State
a. Ex. Running waters, waters and bottoms of natural navigable water bodies, the territorial sea, and the seashore. (note: the Seashore is NOT the same as a bank).
b. State can act as: public persons (sovereign capacity) or private persons (like private citizens or corporations).
3. Ex. For Political subdivisions = streets and public squares
4. Property of State and Political Subdivisions is known as Public Property and there are two categories.
a. Things which according to constitutional and legislative provisions are inalienable and necessarily owned by the state or its political subdivisions
b. Things which, though alienable and thus susceptible to ownership by private persons, are applied to some public purpose and are held by the state or its political subdivisions in their capacity as public person.
iv. 451 = Seashore
1. The space of land over which the waters of the sea spread into the highest tide during the winter season.
2. In other words, the space of land that is directly overflown by the tides.
3. The tides/water level are lowest in the winter months, this is obvious since in the winter months the polar ice caps are larger and contain more water.
v. 452 = Public things and Common things subject to public use
1. Are subject to public use in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
2. Everyone has the right to fish in rivers, ports, roadsteads, and harbors, and..
3. the right to land on the seashore to fish, shelter himself, moor ships, dry nets, and the like, Provided that he does NOT cause injury to the property of adjoining owners.
4. Seashore within municipality limits is subject to its police power and public use is governed by municipal ordinances and regulations.
vi. 453 = Private things
1. Are owned by individuals, other private persons, and by the state or its political subdivisions in their capacity as private persons.
2. Private things of political subdivisions such as fire stations may be dealt with as the municipality sees fit, subject only to restrictions imposed by deed of acquisition or by special laws.
3. Private property of a state or

l navigable waters, that obstruct the public use may be removed at the expense of the persons who built or own them at the insistence of public authorities or ANY person residing in the state.
2. Owner cannot allege prescription
3. Does not apply to special legislation governing the LA dept. of Highways.
xii. 459 = Building encroaching on public way
1. A building that encroaches on a public way without preventing its use, and cannot be removed without causing substantial damage to its owner, shall be permitted to remain.
2. If demolished from any cause, owner must restore the public way.
xiii. 460 = Navigation facilities
1. May be constructed by port commissions, or municipalities within the limits of their respective jurisdiction, on public places such as beds of natural navigable bodies of water, banks, etc.
i. The state or its political subdivisions may own things in both a public or private capacity.
ii. Quasi-commercial—public property that is used privately often for a fee.
1. Cajundome, or municipal auditorium
iii. Quasi proprietary—property that belongs to the state that is not open to the public.
1. Professor’s office
2. Fire station