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Property I
University of Iowa School of Law
DeLaTorre, Phillip E.

Property Outline
I.        The law of finders and the consequences of possession                               29
II.     Bailments                                                       2 cases
III.   Bona fide purchasers                                                 9
IV. Adverse possession                                                         3cases+ 14
V.     Estates and future interests                                               35
VI. Concurrent ownership                                                         handout +33
VII.            Landlord/tenant                                                      57
VIII.           Land conveyances: the deed                                     50
IX.   Land conveyances: the recording system                              handout + 46 
X.     Land conveyances: methods of title, title assurance (covenants for title; estoppels by deed; title abstracts; title insurance)                                                     50

Part I. The law of finders and the consequences of possession             29

1.      Possession: 1. intent to possess on the part of the possessor. 2. his actual controlling or holding the property.

2.      Landowners’ Rule:
a.     If the found item is buried and affixed to the earth, landowner has priority over finder. (Goddard v Winchell – the aerolite)
b.     If the item is mislaid, favor landowner.
3.      Finder’s rule: items goes to the 1st person who reduced it to possession.
a.     Possession: intent to control the found item, and the ability to exercise control ,(Eads v. Braselton-the lead bar) even if it’s a wrongful possession (Armory v. Delamirie-chimney boy w/ diamond ring).
b.     Priority to finder if item was found in a public area,(Bridges v. Hawkesworth, customer finder found banknotes in the shop).
c.     Exceptions: if the finder is a trespasser.

Types of Property:
a.     Mislaid property: voluntarily, intentionally placed the item down.
b.     Lost property: no intention, unawareness.
c.     Abandoned Property: voluntarily relinquish all claim of the item, by lack of use for an extended period of time and intent to surrender all claims.

Consequences (in possession):
a.     If it’s mislaid, favor landowner.
b.     If it’s lost, favor finder.
c.     If it’s abandoned, favor finder.

a.     For lost property, no duty to become a finder.
b.     For mislaid property, duty to safe keep the misplaced item is imposed on landowner involuntarily.
Summary: If you are a finder, you are entitled to the item against all people in the world.
Exceptions: you might be subordinated to
1.      The true owner
2.      Landowner (if u r a trespasser, or if the item is buried).
3.      The prior finder, if you are finder 2.
4.      The container case, you are the finder of cash inside, but the finder of the container might get the cash if it can be reasonably expected that the container has cash, ex, found wallet, as opposed to the

he existence of any other superior owners + there was no circumstances which should make you to inquire.

General Rule: A person cannot transfer a greater title to property to a buyer than the transferor has.

Exceptions: If you are BFP, and you also satisfies the 3 requirements of the UCC 2-403 (2).

“Any entrusting of possession of goods to a merchant who deals in goods of that kind  gives him power to transfer all rights of the entruster to a buyer in ordinary course of business.”

The 3 requirements are
merchant who deals in goods of that kind
transferring in ordinary course of business.
Conclusion: subsection 2 gives BFP the right of the entruster, not absolute ownership.

Exception 2 to general rule: UCC 2-403 (1): “A person w/ voidable title has power to transfer a good title to a BFP for value. The BFP will prevail even if the item was gained from fraud or bad check.
Difference from 2-403 (2), 1) x can transfer good title, 2)X doesn’t have to be merchant, and 3)it doesn’t have to be in ordinary course of business.

A void title is through theft, not fraud, nor bad check. If it’s void title, i.e. the thief sells directly to BFP, then OO prevails.