Select Page

Property I
University of Oregon School of Law
Wood, Mary Christina

Forms of Property (Real – land/resources, Personal – computer/book/etc)
1. Land
2. Interest in Land
            a. Easements
            b. Licenses
3. Natural Bounty
            A. Water
            b. Oil
            c. Gas
            d. Wildlife   
            e. Air
4. Personalty
            a. Cars
            b. Books
5. Fungible Items
            a. Cash
            b. Stocks
            c. Coins
6. Copyrights, Patents, Trademarks
Property Operates on 2 Levels
            1. Inter-sovereign Allocation
                        – Transactions between sovereigns
                        – Current sovereign
            2. Individual Interest
                        – Eminent domain
I.       Sovereign Property Rights in Land and Natural Bounty
a.      Sovereign Property Rights
b.      Native Americans are a sovereign entity – changes how you have to deal with rights they have
c.       Treaty rights – easements to access fishing grounds
d.      Native Americans can’t sell their easements – bc they’re Federal Government – you would have to have
e.       Aboriginal Title – fiction – N. Ams. Have something that is like FSA except Fed Gov’t is the only person who can take that property     
1.      Native title is only occupancy – they can’t alienate full title
                                                            ii.      Right of Discovery
                                                          iii.      Original Indian Title
                                                          iv.      Indian Treaty Rights
f.       Sovereign Duty to Protect Resources
g.      Public Rights to Crucial Resources
                                                              i.      Public Trust Doctrine – doctrine of common law, flexible, judge decided, changes with circumstances
1.      Question: Is this in the Public Trust – is this something protected by the Public Trust – then name trustee and beneficiary
a.      If yes – then Gov’t has to protect it
b.      Might be able to have private rights alongside public rights
2.      3 Major Components – don’t focus on it so much
a.      Trustee – always the government (ask federal or state)
b.      Beneficiary – always citizens
c.       Ress & Corpus – changing, figure it out for each case
3.      Issues arise when:
a.      Gov’t transfers or trys to transfer out of trust
                                                                                                                                      i.      Illinois Central
b.      Gov’t manages a trust asset, and mismanages them
                                                                                                                                      i.      Salmon
c.       Trust property also has an overlay of private property ownership
                                                                                                                                      i.      Marks v. Whitney – issues in what p. prop. is doing
                                                                                                                                    ii.      Stevens v. City of Cannon Beach – public wants access to private property
4.      Prima Facia Case – How to lay out a Public Trust Doctrine claim
a.      Who the trustee is
b.      What is the trust asset
c.       What are the interests served by the trust
                                                                                                                                      i.      Traditional, fishing, navigation, commercial (FNC)
d.      What is the fiduciary obligation in managing the trust (trustee’s obligation)
                                                                                                                                      i.      Dutes:
1.      Protection – you have to protect the land
2.      Restore – when damaged
3.      Rule Against Waste – you cant allow it to diminish
e.       What remedy are you seeking
5.      Courts Take TWO Approaches to Public Trust Cases
a.      Judicial Veto – outright, overturn, a state alw enacted by the legislature if the court feels the state wasn’t fulfilling its duty to the public trust
                                                                                                                                      i.      Implies – Public Trust is Constitutional
b.      Judicial Check – court will say we think legislature is violating the trust, but give legislature or other people to look over it
                                                                                                                                      i.      Calls for more process
                                                            ii.      Beach Access Rights
II.    Wildlife/ Surface Water – Who Owns What?
a.      Wildlife – ferea natrua – Pierson v. Post (fox case)
                                                              i.      Cl

b.      Easements in Property: Implied
                                                              i.      Easements by Estoppel – Holbrook v. Taylor          
1.      Initial license
2.      Reliance on that license
3.      Reasonable notice to the true property owner
* Coverts a license into an easement, if there is reasonable reliance on the license
                                                            ii.      Constructive Trusts – generally a remedy to battle unfairness (fraud/other deceipt)
1.      No initial license, but a promise
2.      Reliance on that promise
3.      Reasonable notice to the true property owner
                                                          iii.      Prescriptive Easements – Community Feed
(Easement version of adverse possession, except: – use, not possession – no exclusivity requirement)
1.      Actual Use
2.      Open and notorious use
3.      Hostile use
4.      Continuous use
5.      Endures for a statutory period
 * Taken away once someone gives permission
                                                          iv.      Easements by Prior Use – Granite Properties v. Mann
1.      Common ownership of both dominant and servient estates
2.      Subsequent conveyance of servient estate
3.      Before conveyance, the common ownership used part of one parcel to the benefit of another
4.      Use was
a.      Apparent and obvious
b.      Continuous and permanent
5.      Easement is a necessary and beneficial to the enjoyment of the dominant estate
                                                            v.      Easements by Necessity – Finn v. Williams
1.      Initial united parcel belonged to A
2.      Conveyance of a landlocked parcel to B
3.      Only means of ingress and egress for B is across A’s land
* Easements may lie dormant
* Need to show there is no way around it, that it is an absolute necessity
                                                          vi.      Negative Easements