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

I. Property is a bundle of rights.
A. To sell
B. To Use
C. To Exclude

I. First-in-time Rule: The first to take possession of resources is entitled to them. A prior
possessor prevails over a subsequent possessor.
II. There needs to be a VALID chain of titles and have to use raw materials and settle the land (Johnson v. M’Intosh).
A. original inhabitants to be considered mere occupants and entitles them to nothing.
B. John Locke Theory
III. Can get land from Discovery.

I. Captureof wild animals
A. General Rule: Captor must acquire actual physical control over the animal (control + intent).
1. Pursuit is not enough (Pierson v. Post).
2. Wild animal has to be mortally wounded so that capture is certain for the animal to be considered captured. (Id.)
3. If one is in process of capturing a wild animal, a competitor who is also interested in capturing the same wild can interfere. (Keeble v. Hickeringgill)
a. promote competition.
4. Person who does not intend to capture animal cannot interfere. (Id.)
a. discourage unfair competition.
5. Domesticated wild animals belong to the owner.
6. Owner of land has constructive possession of wild animal while they are on his land.
II. Custom
A. Custom can be a valid way to establish property rights.
1. Possession recognized by whalers who initially killed the whale, even though they did not have actual possession immediately following the killing. (Ghen v. Rich
B. Policy
1. Limited application – only applies to a few people.
2. Industry would cease, if not ruled this way.
3. Makes a clear rule regarding property.
4. No one disputed this rule as custom in the past.
5. It works.
6. Rewards the first person who was trying to do everything they could.
7. No unjust enrichment problem


I. Purpose: to reward labor.

II. Acquisition by Accession
1. adds labor
a. G/R: usually award final product to owner of the raw materials.
b. Exception: unless the final product is sufficiently increased its value.
2. adds labor and new materials
a. Innocent trespasser adds labor and material to raw material – final product is generally awarded to the owner of the principle material.

III. Intellectual Property
1. The Common Law
A. allows copying and imitations (Cheney)
B. exception

lly lost.

A. General Rule: Finder entitled to possession against all except true owner, except if found in private area, buried, or acting for an employer.

B. Flow-Chart
1. Statutory Custodian
2. Finder v. Landowner (public setting). (Bridges)
3. Finder v. Landowner (non-public setting). (Sharman)
4. Finder v. Owner not in possession. (Hannah)
5. Employee Finder v. Employer (within work duties).
6. Trespassing Finder v. Landowner
7. Landlord v. Tenant (Elwes)
a. objects found in soil belong to landowner.
8. Finder v. Stranger (Armory)
9. Finder v. Landowner (on premise for limited purpose)

V. Mislaid = property intentionally placed somewhere and then forgotten.
A. General Rule: Owner of premises entitled to possession against all except true owner (more possibilities for owner to return).

B. Flow-Chart
1. Statutory Custodian
2. Finder v. Landowner (mislaid in public area of shop)(McAvoy)

VI. Abandoned property