Chapter 1 & 2
Acquisition by Discovery
1. Property Rights
a. Protection by the state to a claim of resources. Can be held by individual, group, or at common.
2. First in Time Rule
a. First person to take possession of a thing owns it. AKA Rule of Capture. Allows for the implementation of important social policies like rewarding labor and protecting investment in resources.
3. The Rule of Capture
a. General Rule
i. A person who first captures unowned resources is entitled to them. First in time.
ii. Disovering America
1. Early courts held that the United States had title to its land and that only they could confer title. Title couldn’t flow from Indians to others, because even though they were there first, the Indians didn’t own the land.
b. Capture of Wild Animals (Pierson v. Post, Ghen v. Rich)
i. Wild Animals (ferae naturae) are the property of their captor. To be the captor you must CAPTURE the animal and not simply chase it.
1. Rationale (overall goal is to make sure people have incentives for doing things, giving them a little certainty that the fruits of their hunting labors wont be poached)
a. At the time, capturing foxes was large priority, this ruling wanted to encourage competition in capture.
b. Rewarding capture was easier to administer, rather than figuring out when started purusing first, capture is easily identifiable.
2. Other considerations
a. Animal must be mortally wounded or trapped to be captured. If in process of being this, not yet captured
b. Cage need not be fool proof, but captor must take reasonable precautions against escape.
c. Competition-You can interfere with capture if you are a competitor, but cant if you just want to be an asshole.
i. Ratione Soli-view that owner of land has constructive possession of wild animals on that land until they take off.
d. Animus Revertendi-animals who are tamed, roam at large, and then return home at night are not available for capture. Want to reward the act of domesticating animals. Problems? Solutions?
e. Custom- Certain customs that increase economic efficiency can defeat physical control of the animal. Ghen v. Rich, when whalers could tag a dead whale, leave, wait for it to wash a shore, pay the person who found it, and then claim it. Seen to be a better way of killing than making them wait. Everyone knew about the custom.
c. Fugitive Resources (Oil, Gas, Water)
i. Oil and Gas are the property of those who first, non negligently take. Can drain from that which is under your neighbors land, even if pumped from your side.
ii. Water-Rule of capture also, unless you are wastefully taking it or harming your neighbor. Ground water extraction is now typically handled by statute or administrative agencies.
i. Go back and browse p. 35-50.
4. Acquisition By Creation-General Rule= A person can acquire property by creating it. The primary purpose in recognizing property by creation is to reward labor, but how to address labor added to anothers goods?
i. When one person adds to the peroperty of another either through labor or labor and new materials. Original owner make take it all or just the original property, depending on what the trespasser added.
1. Labor Added
a. When A adds to labor to B raw, courts give to B unlessA added sooo much labor as to make that an unjust outcome and windfall for B. A must also have acted in good faith to recover. A’s act is a trespass even if he acts in good faith. If A is awarded B will still get damages for trespass.
b. Labor AND materials added
i. If A, in good faith, adds labor and materials to B’s raw, the product is awarded to the owner of the principal material. If B was not in good faith, A will get it no matter what.
b. Intellectual Property
i. Policy Goal: reward labor, without stifling creativity in others by prohibiting imitation. Also not allowing monopolies.
ii. Common Law
1. Allows for imitation and copying of ideas. Serves a public good. Perfume can be imitated, if not patented. Large expenditures of money into investment to develop something doesn’t create l
your resources, you know you cant leach from someone else.
i. Mistaken Improver
1. If you ignorantly build an improvement, thinking the land is yours, on someone else’s it might get to stay, if you did it knowingly you’ll have to remove it.
ii. Civil Rights Laws
1. Statutes may prohibit discrimination in housing, public accommodations, based on race, religion, or other grounds.
2. Common law
iii. Workers Rights to Organize
1. Federal law allowing workers to unionize and unions can come on to employers premises to talk. Cant exclude union people from property. Workers rights protections afforded by statute cant be denied by invoking a right to exclude from property.
6. Remedies of a Possessor
a. Actions to Recover Damages
1. P must show D intentionally or negligently acted to inflict direct injury to platiffs person or to his possessed property. If no harm shown, nominal damages given. Two TYPES OF TRESPASS
a. Trespass to chattels
i. Forcibly carrying away of or injury to plaintiffs chattels, or for excluding a plaintiff from possession of their chattel
b. Trespass to Land
i. Forcible interefence with P possession of land.
ii. Trespass on the case
1. An act which didn’t immediately harm possession but caused substantial harm, directly and consequently following the D actions. Nailing cows hoof, nothing happens, but then b/c of it, it gets an infection