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Property I
University of Denver School of Law
Cai, Phoenix X.F.

Spring 2011
·         A. Theories of property law (1-18)
o   1. Values advanced
§  a. Fairness
§  b. Efficiency
§  c. Wealth maximization
·         B. Acquisition by Capture (18-29)
o   1. Externalities (33-39, 46-55)
§  a. Social values advanced by property rules
§  b. Economic efficiency
o   2. Property in one’s person (70-88)
§  Moore v. UC Regents
ú  Mosk’s dissent
§  First in time, first in right.
ú  Possession by virtue of ownership of the underlying land. 
·         In cases of AP, prior possession of the whole defeats any constructive possession by AP.
§  Relative title
ú  Does not matter whether deed is valid or invalid.
·         Once ownership is perfected, it defeats AP’s color of title claims.  
ú  Dueling APs
·         Look to the first to determine who has superior title
·         First in right doctrine holds when O’s prior actual possession of a part and prior constructive possession of the whole via color of title to the rest. 
ú  Constructive possession also requires AP to be on land
·         Otherwise, no notice for Owner
ú  Abandonment or oral relinquishment
·         Title not lost if bought or AP
·         C. Acquisition by find/finders law (97-107)
o   Armory v. Delamire
·         G. Restraints on alienation (only label, no need to apply)
o   (The condition may be void as…)
§  1. Disabling
ú  Rule
·         No transfer allowed
·         Makes transfer void and null
·         If complete, then probably void
o   Complete
§  A is not allowed to do anything with the property
§  E.g. “lacks the power to sell, transfer, or give the property in any manner whatsoever. 
§  E.g. “Blackacre to A but any transfer by A of any interest in Blackacre shall be null and void”
ú  Policy
·         Reasons Law disfavors disabling restraint
o   1. Discourages improvement
§  Practical matter (nobody will want house)
o   2. Hardship on creditors
§  Good but not universal because banks and professional creditors
o   3. Judicial/economic Efficiency (White v. Brown)
§  Economic efficiency—unmarketable, prevents highest and best uese
ú  Societal good
ú  Cannot sell to someone who is capable of improving
o   4. Perpetuates concentrations of wealth
·         Reasons for disabling restraints
o   Preservation (cultural or historical)
§  Public good of restoring historical value
o   Conserve Environment
§  2. Forfeiture
ú  Rule
·         If transferred goes back to grantor or to someone else
·         If tries to sell, title is automatically forfeited to a third party
o   Transfer would not be void and null (disabling restraint), but would lose title to someone else. 
§  Probably not void
ú  Example:
·         “Blackacre, a summer camp, to A, and A promises not to transfer Blackacre to anyone who would not maintain Blackacre as a summer camp, if so, then to B.”

o be successful (Van Valkenburg)
§  f. Policy
ú  AP as a doctrine does not favor environmentalists who favor low impact and non-obtrusive (non-notorious) uses
§  Cases
ú  Van Valkenburg
o   3. Adverse and under claim of right
§  Psychological element: Depending on what state of mind the jurisdiction requires (pp. 122-136)
ú  1. Objective (Majority)
·         State of mind irrelevant
·         Modern trend
ú  2. Innocent trespasser
·         “I thought I owned it”
·         Meets the adverse and under claim of right requirement
ú  3. Aggressive trespasser
·         “I knew I didn’t own it, but I intended to make it mine”
·         Does not meet the adverse and under claim of right requirement because APer knows lot is not his
§  Application
ú  Now virtually meaningless b/c the “usual and customary use” standard takes care of it
ú  If all other requirements of AP are met, adversity will be implied, regardless
§  Policy problems
ú  Incentive to lie, no weight given to improvements, not putting land to productive use
o   4. Continuous for the statutory period
§  Statute of Limitations met?
§  Complicated by tacking and disability