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Property I
University of Oklahoma College of Law
Palomar, Joyce

Palomar- Property Spring 2014

Property—the legal relations between persons with respect to objects—such that owners of property interests can exclude others from certain activities or permit others to engage in certain activities, and secure the assistance of the law in carrying out their decision.

· Possessor has rights against all but the owner.

· Possession= physical control and intent to control it or exclude others.

UNIT 1- Possessing and Owning Property

Rights and Duties of Possessors

· Possession gives a property right against all but the true owner (Gissel v. State)

o Social Policy- promoting peace, certainty, reducing disputes.

· Possession is only rebuttable by prior ownership or true title. (Anderson v. GOuldberg)

· Possession requires certain control.


· Landowner has constructive possession of everything on the land.

o Discourages trespassing, encourages safety.

· Interupted pursuance of possession.

· No property rights in an idea. Property is lmited to the chattels which embody his invention. (Cheney Bros. v. Doris Silk Corp)

o Copying is okay.

· Finder’s Laws

o Abandoned— No expectation rightful owner will return. Voluntarily relinquished by owner.

§ Property of Finder, subject to superior claim of owner

§ Policy: No chance of finding owner, encourages reporting the find.

o Lost

§ In Public- Finder Keeps item.

· Finder Keeps it. Gains no title and may be subject to liability.

o Until SoL runs on trover and conversion.

· Policy: Gets item to owner by giving Finder incentive by protection.

· Leasor holds property

· Employee gains possession of lost items. Encourages reporting.

§ In Private home- Owner of Home Keeps item.

· Policy: Best chance of returning item.

· Leasee holds property.

o Mislaid- Property intentionally left there, and forgotten.

§ Owner of Location keeps

§ Policy: Location most likely for owner to return

o Treasure Trove

Adverse Possession- A defense in three lawsuits: (1) Quiet Title; (2) Trespass; (3) Ejectment.

Creates new title in the AP. Must quiet title action to make title marketable. Acquire the title of the rightful possessor at the time

· Elements:

possessor expresses hostility or claim of right.

· Presprictive easement- Allow part of the land to be used for something.

o If owner was not allowed to do such, you have (1) and (2)

· Disability: Disability at the time of adverse possession begins may toll accrual.

o Permanent disability- Death ends it. Executor gets extra years to bring cause of action.

o Multiple disabilities (concurrent)- go with longer lasting disability.


Present Estates- Legal right to presently possess

· Freehold Estates:

o Fee Simple Absolute- (Favored over Defeasible Fees)

§ Duration: Forever

§ Future Estate: None.

· If language shows someone could have future interest, not FSA.

· No language suggesting future interest, courts see FSA.

§ Language Creating: A to B. A to B and his heirs.

§ Transferability: Fully transferable by deed, will, intestacy.