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Property I
Wayne State University Law School
Mogk, John E.

Property Outline

Attributes of property:

Property (legal definition): The right that an individual holds in the subject matter backed up by the power of the state. If the state does not back it up then there is no right.

I. State v. Shack (p. 16)
a. The tenants have a right out of the “bundle of rights”
b. Ownership alone will not allow an individual to control the lives of those on his land
c. The migrant workers have human rights and the farmer has property rights, but the interests of the farmer are not enough to outweigh that of the migrants
II. Goddard v. Winchell (p. 85)
a. To gain a possessory right, one must control an object with the intent to control it
b. Goddard has a right to exclude others from his land.
i. The meteor fell on the land and therefore became a part of his land
III. Armory v. Delamire (p. 95)
a. One who finds property can keep it from all others except the rightful owner.
IV. Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co. (p. 32)
a. 42 U.S.C.A. § 1982
i. All citizens of the United States shall have the same right, in every State and Territory, as is enjoyed by white citizens thereof to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property.
b. The court applied this to all private transactions as well, because it was meant in furtherance of doing away with all instruments of slavery and Congress had the power to do so under the 13th Amendment
c. The seller controls the property as a fee simple holder, as long as it is not contrary to public policy
V. Moore v. Regents of the University of California (p. 53)
a. Π did not expect to retain possession of his cells, so he has no property interest
b. Human cells are freely copied and distributed
i. Comment: The patent was factually and legally distinct from Π’s cells
Role of Property

I. Johnson v. McIntosh (p. 63)
a. European discovery gave the discoverers title to the la

ed to pass the largest estate possible
ii. However some states still require the words of limitation, or it is unclear if it is necessary to pass title
b. Defeasible Fees
i. Fee Simple Determinable
1. Called fee simple determinable because it is potentially infinite in duration
a. It is a fee simple esteat limited so that it will automatically end upon the happening of some specified event
2. Words of limitation: “so long as” while” or “until”
a. Must not merely express the intent of the grantor as to what is to be done with the land, but it must use the words to limit the duration of the estate.
3. Conditions the estate
a. IE: Liquor cannot be sold on the property
This is made enforceable by leaving a possibility of reverter with the conveyor