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Property I
Wayne State University Law School
Bartell, Laura B.

Possesion
 
I. Acquisition by Discovery
–         not much is still undiscovered
Ø      however the idea of acquisition by discovery still has an effect today
Johnson v. MacIntoish
–         SC confronted claims for ownership in Illinois
Ø      Johnson claim was the last link in a chain of title going back to an Indian Tribe
Ø      M’Intosh said his title was better because it came from the US government- although it was after the Indians had given title to Johnson
–         US SC ruled that the Indians only had right of occupancy that could be cut off at any time by the US government, because the Indians were states of the US
Ø      Belief that the US had aquired title by conquest of the Indians.
Ø      Property defined by the society it is in- this society, US, viewed their title as superior and threw out Indians
–         principals of discovery
Ø      first in time gets title- first person there gets to keep title
Ø      title gives exclusive right to gain possession
Ø      title gives exclusive right to convey property to someone else
Pros and Cons of First In Line gets title
–         Pro: orderly and efficient, encourages discovery, relatively peaceful
–         Con: does not respect non-European concepts of possession, not fair (rich get richer) no need based property, economically inefficient (discovery country may not use to the best of its sources
Different Methods of determining Possession
–         economic division of property- who ever can do the most gets it
–         lottery
–         No good alterantive to take another persons land
Ø      Marshall had no choice, otherwise US never would have expanded or claim a title to the property they owned
II. Acquisition by Capture
 
–         wild animals are probably one of the few things that are unowned and suspeticble to capture
–         Actual Possesion;
Ø      method for acquiring property of wild animal is to actually possess it
Pearson v. Post
–         rival claims to owner

trols everyone and in the long run everyone will be better off.
Ghen v. Rich
–         Ghen was a fin back whale hunter who used a lance with his name on it. When they would kill a whale his carcass would float to the beach eventually and the harpoon would say who killed the whale. Whaler would pay a fee to the finer
–         Ellis found the whale and sold it to Rich who sold it for money
–         Court adopted custom and usage in the industry as precedent
Ø      once you lance it you own it.
Ø      Without this rule there would be no incentive to hunt whales.
 
Keeble v. Hckoring
–         Keeble had a pond to capture ducks and kill and eat for food. H shot a gun nearby and scared the ducks off K’s pond
–         Court ruled H was maliciously interfering with K’s lawful activity