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76 Cards in this Set

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Ownership
Right to possess, use or dispose of it.
Possession
Two Elements:
Dominion & control over object
Intention to retain control of object
Custody
Phsyical control w/out intent to exercise control inconsistent w/ interests of owner
Wild Animals
No property interest in wild animals until possession - possession accomplished by capture, ensnarement and wounding. Pursuit insufficient.
Intellectual Property
Ideas - to constitute property idea must be original and novel (distinguish from ideas that are freely available for others to use).
Copyright protects tangible expression of idea.
Patent protect only novel ideas.
Abandoned Property
Owner no longer wants to possess it and relinquishes property.
* Lost property can become abandoned if there is no hope or expectation of orginal owner acquiring again. Owner relinquishes title when he abandons.
Lost Property
Owner unintentionally & involuntarily parts w/ possession and doesn't know where it is.
Mislaid Property
Owner voluntarily puts property in a certain place but overlooks or forgets where; parts w/ possession involuntarily.
Treasure Trove
Coins or currency concealed by the owner; element of antiquity such that the owner is probable dead or undiscoverable.
Found Property
(common law)
Finder of abandoned property, lost property or treasure trove is entitled to possession as against all but true owner.
Owner of premises on which mislaid property is found is entitled to possession as against all but true owner.
Duties of Finders
Duty to return lost goods to owner if ascertainable. Failure to do so may make finder guilty of tortious conversion.
Finder is gratuitous bailee of the goods and must exercise reasonable care; he may be liable for negligent treatment of found chattel.
Obligations persist until enough time has passed for the true owner to be deemed to have abandoned her goods or until SOL has run. If SOL runs possessor acquires title (by "prescription") and becomes new "true" owner.
Finders of Property
(CA LAW)
Finders are NOT obliged to take charge of property - if do - become "depository for hire"; duty to inform owner; unknown owner must turn property over to police after 90 days if no claim notice in paper is filed; still no claimant finder becomes owner.
Goods Found on Land Belonging to Another
Generally (cts conflict):
Found UNDER soil awarded to landowner, unless treasure trove.
Found by TRESPASSER awarded to landowner.
Found by employee acting w/in scope of employement given to employer.
Found in HIGHLY private place awarded to landowner.
Bailment
When someone ("bailee") takes possession of an asset that is owned by another ("the bailor"); bailee has obligation to return asset to bailor either on demand or as agreed to by parties. Bailee under some duty of care in handling asset (terms of bailment).
Bailment Title/Possession?
Bailment relationship involves transfer of possession of item to bailee w/out transfer of title/ownership. Bailee has right to possess property in accordance w/ terms of the bailment. May be part of express contractual arrangement but contract not required. Gratuitous or fee.
Elements of Bailment
Possession of Property: bailee must obtain physical custody coupled w/ intent to exercise control.
Consent of Bailee: possession w/ consent of bailee; mere custody insufficient.
Bailee's Knowledge that Article is Present: doesn't mean bailment exists w/ something hidden in article.
Bailee's Duty of Care
(Modern Trend)
Considers whether bailee exercises ordinary care under all facts and circumstances.
*Goods been lost, destroyed or damaged during bailment - burden is on bailee to prove that loss was caused DESPITE her exercise of due care.
Trover
Cause of action (to recover possesion) seeking damages for conversion.
Replevin
Cause of action (to recover possession) seeking specific recovery of the converted property itself + damages for lost possession + damages to the property.
"Just tertii"
Defense that neither P nor D, but 3d party, is true owner.
Ejectment
Owner or possessor of land has a cause of action (to recover possession) in ejectment against anyone wrongly possessing her land.
P must prove both that D is wrongful possessor and that she has right to possession.
Adverse Possession
Based on SOL for ejectment. IF SOL has not run, landowner can bring action of ejectment to dispel possessor. If SOL has passed barring action for ejectment, possessor can remain on land and claim title to property by adverse possession.
Elements of Adverse Possession
Hostile & Adverse
Cotninuous & Uninterupted
Open & Notorious
Actual & Exclusive
HACUONAE
Hostile & Adverse
(AP)
Possessor's occupation of property must be hostile (nompermissive).
*Doesn't usually matter if possessor believes they are on own land, knows she's trespassing or no idea of who owns the land.
True owner must affirmatively act to interrupt adverse possession.
Continuous & Uninterupted
(AP)
Possession must be continuous & regular throughout statutory period. NEED NOT BE CONSTANT, must be consistent w/ acts of possession an ordinary owner would take.
No abandonment.
No other person can interrupt possession; if owner enters or sues for ejectment, there is interruption
"Tacking" of prior possessor's time is permitted if there is "privity of estate"
Tacking (C & U of AP)
Combine time of one possessor to another; NOT permitted where one adverse possessor ousts a preceding adverse claimant, or where one adverse claimant abandons and another adverse claimant takes possession.
Privity of Estate
(C & U of AP)
Permitted if subsequent possessor takes by descent, by devise or by deed purporting to convey title.
*Even an oral transfer of possession is sufficient to satisfy privity.
Open & Notorious
(AP)
Possessor must act in a sufficiently public way so as to warn any reasonably diligent owner, checking the property, that someone else is possessing it. But lack of actual knowledge by owner is no defense.
Actual & Exclusive (AP)
Actual possession = possession of the kind appropriate to the property.
Fencing, living on premises, payment of taxes coupled w/ acts of possession are all facts that support a finding of actual possession. Often turns on kind of land.
"Color of Title"
Possessor holds property pursuant to a written instrument or court decree that appears to convey record title but is, for some reason, defective as a conveyance.
*Said to be adverse possessor under color of title.
Exclusive Possession
(A & E of AP)
Possessor must not have permitted anyone else to possess the property w/out his permission (not sharing w/ landowner or public).
Two people can work together to obtain title by adverse possession (tenants in common).
Adverse possessor may become a landlord and lease the property to another w/out breaking the "exclusivity" requirement.
Ouster
Posession begun permissively may become adverse if possessor asserts a right to possess independent of or against the owner and makes the owner aware of this change. True owner must have notice of the ouster before it is effective; possession alone is not sufficient to warn the owner of an adverse claim.
Boundary Line Agreements
Boundary line (fence) is fixed agreement of adjoining landowners, but later turns out not to be "true" line, cts will fix as per agreed line provided:
Original uncertainty as to true line
Agreed line was established (agreed upon)
Lengthy acquiscene in the agreed line by the adjoining owners and/or successors
Disability
(AP)
SOL does not begin to run for adverse possession if true owner is under disability to sue when cause of action first accrued (start of adverse possession period). Disabilities = minority, imprisonment, insanity. No tacking - only owner's disability counts.
Prescriptive Easement
Continous but limited use of property; sale elements for AP if easement is shown by a definite and certain line of travel for entire statutory period.
Theory of Annexation
Allows landowner to keep all improvements made on his property w/out compensation to improver.
Good Faith Improver
Allows good faith occupier to recoup value of the improvements put on another's land believeing he had a right to do so, to the extent the improvements enhance the value of the land or to the extent of the cost of the improvement, whichever is less.
Concurrent Estates
More than one person has rights and privileges w/ respect to one parcel of land. (Husband & wife own Blackacre as community property).
Non-Concurrent Estates
Two or more owners, but they do not have the right to possession at the same time.
(ex: O leases Bacre to T for one yr. T has substantial rights (like possession) to Bacre for period of lease, but O gets it back after one yr (property "reverts" to O at end of the lease - O has a "reversionary interest").
Decedent
A dead person.
Testate & Intestate
Decedent dies testate if dies WITH will.
Dies intestate if WITHOUT a will.
Heirs
People who inherit real property from a decedent who dies intestate. Identified by statute.
Devise & Devisees
To devise is to pass REAL PROPERTY by will. Person receiving real property is devisee.
Bequest & Bequeath
Bequeath is to pass PERSONAL PROPERTY by will; property itself is called bequest.
Issue
Person's lineal descendants all the way DOWN the line.
Ancestors
Person's biological forebears all the way UP the line.
Collaterals
ALL blood relatives other than issue or ancestors (siblings, cousins, aunts, unlces, etc.)
"Estates" in Land
Must have right of exclusive possession. (eg: easement is right of way not right of exclusive possession - not an estate).
* There are both present estates and future estates (future interests).
Freehold Estates
One that has indefinite period of holding. Said to have "seisen".
*Non-freehold are ones that have an ascertainable termination date (tenancy for a period of years).
Present Estates
Five Types:
Fee Simple Absolute
Fee Simple Defeasible
Fee simple Determinable
Fee simple subject to condition subsequent
Fee simple subject to executory limitation
Life Estate
Defeasible Life Estate
Fee Simple Absolute
Largest interest in land one can own b/c it allows the estate to be inheritable at the holder's death, rather than reverting back to the grantor. The holder does not currently share w/ any other person. A fee simple absolute is devisable, descendible, alienable and perpetual in duration. (ex: "O to A and his heirs", "O to A")
Fee Tail
Type of fee estate that allowed only your literal descendants to inherit (the grantor had to "tailor" his fee). (ex: "O to A and the heirs of his body")
Fee Simple Defeasible
Potential for infinite duration, but unlike a fee simple absolute it may be subject to an early termination if certain prescribed events take place. There are three kinds of defeasible fees:
FS Determinable
FS Subject to Condition Subsequent
FS Subject to Executory Limitation
Fee Simple Determinable
Created when conveyance creates a fee simple but also contains a limitation providing that the fee will AUTOMATICALLY terminate or expire upon the occurrence of a stated event. KEY WORDS:
"for so long as"
"while"
"during"
"until"
Fee Simple Subject to Condition Subsequent
Unlike FS Determinable, the holder's interest does not terminate automatically but is terminated only when grantor exercises his right to reacquire the property (called a "power of termination" or a "right of re-entry").
Fee Simple Subject to Executory Limitation
Created when, upon the happening of the condition that divests the holder of the property, the property goes to a 3d person (a "grantee") rather than back to the grantor. It can happen with both FS Determinable (durational words) and w/ a FS SCS (conditional words) but in both cases it happens AUTOMATICALLY.
Life Estates
Created when grantor transfers to another party an estate that terminates at the death of the transferee or another designated person (a life estate "pur autre vie")
Defeasible Life Estates
Conveyance that is a life estate but that may terminate in a way other than the death of the life tenant.
Future Interests Summing Rule
All present and future interests must add up to a fee simple absolute. Thus, you should read the estates created as a sequence of interests extending infinitely into the future.
Future Interests
Either retained by the grantor (they are "reversionary interests") or are created in a 3d party (someone other than grantor and his heirs) these are either "remainders" or "executory interests".
Three Future Interests Held by the Grantor
1. Reversion
2. Possibility of Reverter
3. Power of Termination (or Right of Reentry)
Reversion
Grantor transfers an estate teh duration of which is conceptually shorter than his original estate and fails to designate another party as the next taker; ex: grantor conveys a lesser estate than the one he owns.
Said to "wait patiently" until A's possessory ends naturally.
Possibility of Reverter
Interest retained by the grantor of a determinable life estate or a fee simple determinable. Possibility of reverter ripens into a possessory estate upon the occurrence of the determining event.
Fee Simple Absolute
The largest interest in land one can own b/c it allows the estate to be inheritable at the holder's death, rather than reverting back to the grantor. The holder does not currently share w/ any other person. A fee simple absolute is devisable, descendible, alienable and perpetual in duration.
Fee Simple Defeasible
Fee simple defeasible has the potential for infinite duration, but unlie fee simple absolute it may be subject to an early termination if certain prescribed events take place. Three kinds:
FS Determinable
FS Subject to Condition Subsequent
FS Subject to Executory Limitation
Fee Simple Determinable
Created when the conveyance creates a fee simple but also contains a limitation providing that the fee will AUTOMATICALLY terminate or expire upon the occurrence of a stated event (determining event). Magic words:
"for so long as"
"while"
"during"
"until"
Fee Simple Subject to Condition Subsequent
After creating a fee simple, a limitation provides that the grantor or his successor in interest shall have hte power to terminate the fee simple on the occurrence of a stated event (the "condition subsequent"). Uses words like:
"but if"
"on condition that"
"subject to the condition that"
"provided, however"
"if, however"
Terminatino of FS Subject to Condition Subsequent
Unlike fee simple determinable, the holder's interest does not terminate automatically on the occurrence of the event but is terminated only when grantor exercises his right to reacquire the property (called "power of termination" or "right of re-entry")
Fee Simple Subject to Exectory Limitation
Created when, upon happening of condition that divests the holder of the property, the property goes to a third person rather than the grantor. Can happen w/ FS determinable (durational words) and FS SCS (conditional words) - but both AUTOMATICALLY.
The Summing Rule
All present and future interests must add up to fee simple absolute. Read estates created as a sequence of interests extending infinitely into the future.
Future Interests (Generally)
Either retained by the grantor (they are "reversionary interests") or are created in a third party (someone other than grantor and his heirs) - these are either "remainders" or "executory interests".
Fututre Interests Held By Grantor
Reversion
Possibility of Reverter
Power of Termination (Right of Re-entry)
Future Interests in Third Person
Vested Remainders
- remainders absolutely vested
- vested remainders subject to partial divestment
Contingent Remainders
Executory Interests
- Shifting
- Springing
Reversion
Grantor transfers an estate the duration of which is conceptually shorter than his original estate and fails to designate another party as the next taker; i.e. the grantor conveys a lesser estate than teh one he owns.
O's reversion said to "wait patiently" until A's possessory estate "ends naturally".
Possibilty of Reverter
Interest retained by the grantor of a determinable life estate or a fee simple determinable. Th possibility of reverter ripends into a possessory estate upon the occurrence of the determining event.
O's possibility of reverter "waits patiently" to see if event will occur.
Power of Termination
(Right of Reentry) is created in granto of an estate subject to a condition subsequent. A legal action to recover the property is generally required for O to regain possession.