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Property I
University of Toledo School of Law
Kennedy, Bruce M.

Property I

Ch. 1 – Introduction

FIRST POSSESSION
Acquisition by Discovery
i.      Johnson v. M’Intosh
1.      Derivative title depends on the title of the private holder
a.       If you’ve got a good title, you can pass a good title
b.      If you’ve got a bad title, you can only pass a bad title
2.      One can acquire a property interest by discovery
3.      You can abandon personal property (if you intend to relinquish your rights to the property and if you act to support your intent)
Acquisition by Capture
i.      Pierson v. Post
1.      fox case
2.      RULE: A person must have wounded, circumvented, or ensnared the animal so as to deprive them of their natural liberty and subject them to the control of their pursuer to have a right of property in the animal. (Mere chase is not enough to confer the rights of first possession)
3.      Ratione Soli – The landowner does not own wild animals on his land, but has the first right to kill them
ii.      Ex: A, B, C belong to an archery club; they all hunt the same fox, and A shoots at the fox first, but misses it; B shoots the fox, and mortally wounds it so that it would die in an hour; C shoots the fox killing it instantly and leaves before anyone can get to the fox; B takes custody of the fox, and A sues.
1.      C abandoned his right to the fox
2.      The issue is not who owns the fox, but who, between A and B, is entitled to the fox.
iii.      Ghen v. Rich
1.      RULE: when a whale has been killed, and is anchored and left with marks of appropriation, it is the property of the captors
iv.      Keeble v. Hickeringill
1.      Property rights are exclusive, but not absolute
Acquisition by Creation
i.      International News Service v. Associate Press
1.      This case is an extension of Keeble
2.      The court is protecting the fair conduct of business

custody
3.      Exceptions to rule: (when title of original owner matters)
a.       When one party claims ownership through the true owner (court will look at quality of title the true owner has, as well as facts)
iv.      Remedies law
1.      Where defendant is responsible for destroying evidence of the scope of the loss, the law will assume the worst and assign the maximum value of the lost article
v.      Bridges v. Hawkesworth
1.      Between a finder and a landowner, the finder wins (no custody, no protection)
2.      Finder wins because the property was found in a public place
3.      Finder of lost property in a public place has possessory title
4.      The landowner has title of lost property found in a private place
South Staffordshire Water Co. v. Sharman