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Property I
University of Kansas School of Law
Leeds, Stacy L.

Table of Contents:
 
The Law of Finders and Consequences of Possession…………………..      1
 
Bailments…………………………………………………………………    3
 
Bona Fide Purchasers……………………………………………………     5
 
Adverse Possession………………………………………………………     6
 
Estates of Future Interest…………………………………………………    7
          Fee Simple Absolute………………………………………………     7
          Defeasible Fees……………………………………………………     8
          Life Estate…………………………………………………………     8
          Future Interest……………………………………………………..     9
Estates Chart………………………………………………………     12
           
Concurrent Ownership…………………………………………………..     12
          Tenancy in Common………………………………………………     12
          Joint Tenancy………………………………………………………     13
 
Landlord Tenant Relationship…………………………………………..      15
          Provisions Governing Tenancy……………………………………       16
         
Takings – Eminent Domain…………………………………………….       18
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I.                   The Law of Finders and the Consequences of Possession
A.     Landowners Rule
1.      Rule: Item always belongs to the landowner if it is (a) embedded, (b) buried, or (c) affixed. Goddard v. Winchell (aerolite embedded in soil); expanded to include nonnatural items in Schley v. Couch (glass jar w/ money buried in garage)
a.       Accretion – slow moving of land; boundaries do change; there is a winner and a loser; original owner cannot reclaim land
b.      Avulsion – fast moving of land; boundaries do not change; there is not a winner and a loser; original owner can reclaim land
2.      Exception: If a finder is a trespasser and the item is not embedded, buried, or affixed, the Landowners Rule still applies
3.      Policy: Promotes law and order and rewards the landowner by protecting their privacy and security.
B.     Finders Rule
1.      Rule: The finder of lost objects obtains right to the object except against the true owner. The item must not be embedded and the finder can’t be a trespasser for the finder’s rule to apply. Armory v. Delamirie (chimney sweep found jewel)
2.      Possession:
a.       To recover, there must be knowledge of the item, evidence of intent to exercise control and do the best you can under the circumstances in order to take possession; the bigger the object, the less required to take possession Eads v. Brazleton (sunken steamboat recovery → placing buoys is not enough)
b.      Wild animals must have been captured or mortally wounded in its natural habitat to take possession. Pierson v. Post (fox hunt)
c.       Domesticated animals belong to the original owner b/c they have a propensity to return (“honey bee exception”).
d.      Oil and gas the courts are split. Treated as wild animals / domesticated animals. Kansas treats oil and gas as wild animals → must intend to retain control
e.       Possession counts for a lot, it gives finder rights over everyone except the true owner
3.      Duties of the finder:
a.       duty to return
b.      duty to maintain
c.       duty to reasonably locate the true owner (ex: report to the police)
d.      HOWEVER, no original duty to become

     Container
1.      Rule: If the container is generally used to contain an item, then possession of that item goes with the container.
2.      Ex: assume a sock full of cash and a wallet full of cash; to possess the cash in the sock, you have to reach in and pull out the cash, but to possess the cash in the wallet, you just have to possess the wallet
F.   Treasure Trove
1.      Rule: Property rights go to the finder, even against the landowner
2.      Policy: To encourage circulation of items; question of lost v. mislaid is negated
 
II.                Bailments
A.     Definition
1.      Bailment – rightful possession by someone who isn’t the owner; to be returned or accounted for after the purpose if fulfilled
2.      Bailor – person who is giving up the item temporarily; usually the true owner
3.      Bailee – person who receives the item temporarily from the bailor
B.     Benefits
1.      Sole benefit to bailor:
a.       ex: bailee watching bailor’s dog while bailor is on vacation
b.      bailee is held to a lower duty of care
c.       bailee is liable only for gross negligence
2.      Sole benefit to bailee:
a.       ex: bailee borrows something from bailor
b.      bailee is held to a higher standard of care