Property Outline –
I. General –
a. General definition:
i. A person may be said to hold a property interest if he has any right which the law will protect against the infringement by others.
b. Bundle of Rights –
iv. Enjoy the fruits
v. Transfer, by…
vi. NOTE à These rights are NOT absolute, they are subject to limitations.
c. Possession v. title:
i. Possession = dominion & control
ii. Title = legal evidence of a person’s ownership rights in property
d. Theories –
i. Natural rights theory – ownership is an inherent human right
ii. Occupation theory – first in time first in right
iii. Labor theory – (Locke) One who mixes their labor with unowned raw materials is entitled to claim ownership of their creation.
iv. Utilitarian Theory – (Bentham) Private ownership maximizes social welfare.
II. First Possession – Acquisition by Capture, Creation, Discovery –
a. Acquisition by capture –
i. Rule of Capture –
1. Title is through physical possession. First one to capture/kill has title.
i. Ratione soli
1. The owner of land has constructive possession of all animals on his land until the animal leaves his property.
ii. Conversion is the unauthorized assertion and exercise of the right to ownership of chattel belonging to another and the alteration of the condition of the owners rights.
b. à HERE the bundle of rights do not actually apply because of policy issues
2. Right to exclude –
a. You have a right to exclude other’s from your property (people cannot come on your land) but this is not absolute – State v. Shack, Gov. allowed to help migrant workers on private land.
c. Acquisition by Discovery –
i. Generally –
1. First in time, first in right
ii. Law of Discovery –
1. European nations agreed that the 1st Christian discoverer can claim unfound land.
a. Exception –
Conquest – The taking of possession of enemy territory through force.