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Property I
University of Illinois School of Law
Reynolds, Laurie Jo

Fee simple determinable ripens into fee simple absolute
There is always a potential that fee simple subject to condition subsequent can ripen into fee simple absolute
I.                    What is Property?
A.     What is Property
i.              State v. Shack
1.      Landowner had to sacrifice some of his property rights to allow lawyer and health care worker to enter onto property and visit with migrant worker; these rights of migrant workers were beyond reach of the trespass statute
2.      Law will limit the rights of property owner; can’t exclude certain classes of people (gov’t services, charities, personal visitors, the press)
ii.            General Definition of Property
1.      A person may be said to hold a property interest in the broadest sense, if he has any right which the law will protect against infringement by others
B.     Traditional Objects and Classifications of Property
i.              Edwards v. Sims
1.      Starting principle is that “whomever owns the land owns also the sky and to the depths”
2.      Owner must allow survey when there is reasonable suspicion of trespass or interference with another landowner’s rights
3.      Dissent: argues that the person who uses the land most efficiently should have the rights
C.     Non-Traditional Objects and Classifications of Property
i.              Moore v. Regents of the University of California
1.      Patient who claims tort of conversion over use of his cells for research has no viable cause of action because he can’t claim ownership of the cells
2.      California statute eliminates the rights of patients in their cells once they are extracted, cell line is legally distinct from regular cells
3.      Extension of tort of conversion would greatly limit research and hold innocent parties liable
4.      Dissent argues that human beings should have rights to their body and be able to profit from its use
5.      Property is usually a matter of state law
6.      Court held that once P’s cells had been removed from his body he simply did not retain any ownership interest in them
a.       Human biological materials are not viewed as belonging to the person from whom they have been taken
D.    General Classes of Property
i.              Immovables – land and those things that are permanently attached to it; can only be controlled or possessed in a limited manner
1.      Real Actions- actions in which the thing itself was recovered by the successful suitor
2.      Freeholds- rights that endure for the life of the holder or longer
3.      Non-Freeholds- interests/rights that endure for a set number of years (example is a lease)
ii.            Movables-commonly designated in the law as chattels; full transfership is allowed 
1.      Personal action – the plaintiff does not recover the thing itself but only gets damages from the adverse party
iii.          Choices in Possession- refer to rights in definite tangible things over which possession may be taken
iv.          Choices in action- may be represented by paper, but they are intangib

ixed to the soil and therefore property of landowner (immovable); finder who came and dug it out of the soil does not get to keep it
2.      The rules of accretion don’t apply here because the aerolite cam suddenly and is a rare occurrence
3.      Scientific policy considerations do not influence this court; though Moore v. Regents types of arguments could be made here
4.      Court gives landowner superior rights in the meteorite, which the court describes as “one of nature’s deposits, with nothing in its material composition to make it foreign or unnatural to the sold”- like moving rock pebbles in a river
ii.            Eads v. Brazelton
1.      Dispute over possession between two finders of sunken boat; ownership depends upon actual taking of property with intent to reduce its possession
2.      Although possession need not be physical, the finder must have the actual ability to obtain possession of it and make persistent efforts to do so
His placing of a temporary buoy did not constitute a physical taking, but was merely an expression of intent to appropriate the property; but the commencement of actual salvage operations would have been sufficient, therefore the defendant had the right to take the property