Open-Source Property: A Free Casebook
first Edition

Open-Source Property: A Free Casebook

by Stephen Clowney, James Grimmelmann, Jeremy Sheff, and Rebecca Tushnet

Open Source Property: A Free Casebook is a free resource for instructors and students of the first-year Property Law course at American law schools, and anyone else with an interest in the subject.

Open Source Property is copyright 2015-17 by Stephen Clowney, James Grimmelmann, Michael Grynberg, Jeremy Sheff, and Rebecca Tushnet. It may be reused under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 4.0 International license, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/. More specifically:

    • All of our contributions, including the selection and arrangement of materials and any original notes and questions, are hereby made available for reuse under the terms of the CC-BY-NC 4.0 license.
    • All excerpts from cases and statutes are public-domain and may be freely reused. All materials in which once-applicable copyrights have expired are public-domain and may be freely reused.
    • Where excerpts from books, articles, or photos have been used with permission, we have noted this in the text, footnotes, or captions. Uses other than as part of these materials may require separate permission from the copyright owners, or another justification under copyright law.
    • All other excerpts of copyrighted materials are used herein under the fair use provisions of 17 U.S.C. § 107. We think our interpretation of fair use is right, but we don’t guarantee it, and your situation may be different if you make a use other than as part of these materials.

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Build Author: Jeremy Sheff

Build Date: August 2017

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Print Edition

Introduction. Copyrights
Chapter One. Ownership
1.1 - The Right to Exclude
1.1.1 - Jacque v. Steenberg Homes, Inc.
1.1.2 - State of New Jersey v. Shack
1.1.3 - Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title II, Section 201
1.1.4 - Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 302-03
1.2 - Other Rights of Ownership
1.2.1 - Eyerman v. Mercantile Trust Co.
1.3 - So What Is Property?
1.3.1 - Wesley Newcomb Hohfeld, Some Fundamental Legal Conceptions as Applied in Judicial Reasoning
1.3.2 - Wesley Newcomb Hohfeld, Fundamental Legal Conceptions as Applied in Judicial Reasoning
1.3.3 - Thomas W. Merrill & Henry E. Smith, What Happened to Property in Law and Economics?
1.3.4 - Henry E. Smith, Property as the Law of Things
Chapter Two. Subject Matter of Property
2.1 - Introduction
2.1.1 - Hinman v. Pacific Air Transport
2.2 - Property in Persons
2.2.1 - The Amistad
2.2.2 - Emancipation and Compensation
2.2.3 - Owning Labor
2.2.4 - Alternatives To Property
2.2.5 - Body Parts
2.3 - Intangible Property
2.3.1 - Kremen v. Cohen
2.3.2 - United States v. Turoff
2.4 - Intellectual Property
Chapter Three. Allocation
3.1 - Initial Allocation of Chattels
3.1.1 - Pierson v. Post
3.1.2 - Ghen v. Rich
3.1.3 - Popov v. Hayashi
3.2 - Allocation of Land
3.2.1 - William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England
3.2.2 - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan
3.2.3 - William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England
3.2.4 - John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government
3.2.5 - Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
3.2.6 - Johnson v. M’Intosh
3.2.7 - Mabo v. Queensland (No. 2) [“Mabo’s Case”]
3.3 - Ratione Soli and Fugitive Resources: When Chattels Meet Land
3.3.1 - Wild Animals on Owned Land
3.3.2 - Other Fugitive Resources: Water, Oil, and Gas
3.4 - Allocation of Intangibles
3.4.1 - Tribune Co. v. Oak Leaves Broadcasting Station
Chapter Four. Property Torts and Crimes
4.1 - Real Property
4.2 - Personal Property
4.2.1 - The Major Common-Law Property Torts: A Summary
Chapter Five. Found and Stolen Property
5.1 - Armory v. Delamirie
5.2 - Other Variations on Armory
5.3 - McAvoy v. Medina
Chapter Six. Adverse Possession
6.1 - Adverse Possession Rationales
6.1.1 - Tieu v. Morgan
6.2 - “Hostility” and Intent
6.2.1 - Cahill v. Morrow
6.2.2 - Dombkowski v. Ferland
6.3 - Finer Points of Adverse Possession Law
6.4 - Adverse Possession of Chattels
6.4.1 - O’Keeffe v. Snyder
6.4.2 - The New York Mess
Chapter Seven. Bailments and Liens
7.1 - Allen v. Hyatt Regency-Nashville Hotel
7.2 - Williams v. Ford Motor Credit Co.
7.3 - M&I Western State Bank v. Wilson
Chapter Eight. Improvers and Good-Faith Purchasers
8.1 - Wetherbee v. Green
8.2 - Uniform Commercial Code §§ 2-312, 2-403
8.3 - Kotis v. Nowlin Jewelry, Inc.
8.4 - Note on Negotiability
Chapter Nine. Estates and Future Interests
9.1 - Introduction
9.2 - Concepts, Vocabulary, and Conventions
9.3 - Basic Estates and Future Interests
9.3.1 - The Fee Simple Absolute
9.3.2 - The Life Estate
9.3.3 - The Reversion
9.3.4 - The Remainder
9.4 - Construing Ambiguous Grants
9.4.1 - In the Estate of Dalton Edward Craigen
9.5 - Present vs. Future: The Doctrine of Waste
9.5.1 - Jackson v. Brownson
9.5.2 - A Note on Ameliorative Waste
Chapter Ten. More Complex Estates Problems: Strategy and Method
10.1 - Step 1: Building A Chronology
10.2 - Step 2.a.i: Parsing a Conveyance
10.3 - Step 2.a.ii: Identifying Legal Interests
10.3.1 - Identifying the Quantum of an Interest
10.3.2 - Identifying the Nature of an Interest
10.3.3 - Possessory Estates vs. Future Interests
10.3.4 - Reviewing Familiar Interests
10.4 - Step 2.a.iii: Identifying Residual Interests
10.5 - Step 2.b: Construing the Effects of Events on Legal Interests
10.6 - Step 3: Building a Chain of Title
10.7 - Other Estates and Future Interests
10.7.1 - Remainders, Part 2: Vested and Contingent Remainders
10.7.2 - Remainders, Part 3: Alternative Contingent Remainders
10.7.3 - The Defeasible Fees
10.7.4 - Remainders, Part 4: Divestment of Future Interests; Types of Vested Reminders
10.8 - Future Interests Summary and Review
Chapter Eleven. Preserving Marketability
11.1 - Ford v. Allen
11.2 - Wills v. Pierce
11.3 - Smedley v. City of Waldron
Chapter Twelve. Trusts and Corporations
12.1 - Trusts
12.1.1 - Note on Trusts
12.1.2 - Rothko v. Reis (In re Estate of Rothko)
12.2 - Corporations
12.2.1 - Walkovszky v. Carlton
Chapter Thirteen. Co-ownership and Marital Property
13.1 - Types of Co-Ownership: Introduction
13.1.1 - U.S. v. Craft
13.2 - Tenancy in Common
13.2.1 - Rights and Duties of Tenants in Common
13.2.2 - Partition
13.3 - Joint Tenancy
13.3.1 - Creating a Joint Tenancy
13.3.2 - Severance of a Joint Tenancy
13.4 - Marital Interests
13.4.1 - Tenancy by the Entirety
13.4.2 - Community Property
Chapter Fourteen. Leasing Real Property
14.1 - The Dual Nature of the Lease
14.2 - Creating the Leasehold
14.2.1 - A Lease or Something Else?
14.2.2 - Types of Leasehold
14.2.3 - The Problem of Holdovers
14.2.4 - Tenant Selection
14.3 - Exiting a Lease
14.3.1 - Landlord Exit: Transfer
14.3.2 - Tenant Exit: Transfer
14.3.3 - Tenant Exit: Limiting the Right to Transfer
14.3.4 - Tenant Exit: Abandonment and the Duty to Mitigate
14.3.5 - Tenant Exit: Eviction
14.3.6 - Tenant Exit: Security Deposits
14.4 - The Quest for Clean, Safe, and Affordable Premises
14.4.1 - The Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment
14.4.2 - The Implied Warranty of Habitability
14.4.3 - Retaliatory Eviction
14.4.4 - Landlord’s Tort Liability
14.4.5 - Gentrification & Rent Control
14.5 - Wrapping Up
14.5.1 - Residential Rental Agreement and Contract
Chapter Fifteen. Gifts
15.1 - Intent
15.2 - Delivery
15.2.1 - In re Estate of Evans
15.2.2 - Gruen v. Gruen
15.3 - Acceptance
15.4 - Irrevocability of Gifts and Exceptions
15.4.1 - Gifts causa mortis.
15.4.2 - Conditional gifts
15.5 - Review Problems
Chapter Sixteen. Wills and Intestacy
16.1 - Lon L. Fuller, Consideration and Form
16.2 - John H. Langbein, Substantial Compliance with the Wills Act
16.3 - Stevens v. Casdorph
16.4 - Maryland Code, Estates and Trusts, §§ 3-101 to 3-104
Chapter Seventeen. Land Transactions
17.1 - Indiana Code Title 32, Art. 21
17.2 - Harding v. Ja Laur
17.3 - Walters v. Tucker
17.4 - Loughran v. Kummer
17.5 - New York Real Property Law § 258
17.6 - McMurray v. Housworth
17.7 - Engelhart v. Kramer
17.8 - Brush Grocery Kart, Inc. v. Sure Fine Market, Inc.
Chapter Eighteen. Foreclosures and the Mortgage Crisis
18.1 - Introduction: What is a Mortgage?
18.2 - Crystals and Mud in Property Law
18.2.1 - Carol M. Rose, Crystals And Mud In Property Law
18.3 - The Rise of Mortgage Securitization
18.3.1 - Adam J. Levitin, The Paper Chase: Securitization, Foreclosure, and the Uncertainty of Mortgage Title 1
18.4 - Predatory Lending
18.4.1 - McGlawn v. Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission
18.5 - The Mortgage Crisis
18.6 - Foreclosure Abuses
18.6.1 - Klem v. Washington Mutual Bank
18.7 - Chain of Title Problems
18.7.1 - U.S. Bank National Association, trustee vs. Antonio Ibanez
18.7.2 - Note on Subsequent Purchasers
18.8 - An Additional Puzzle Piece: The Mortgage and the Note
18.9 - What Now?
18.10 - Concluding Thoughts
Chapter Nineteen. Recording Acts
19.1 - Carol M. Rose, Crystals And Mud In Property Law
19.2 - Argent Mortgage Co. v. Wachovia Bank N.A.
19.3 - Fla. Stat. § 695.01
19.4 - N.C. Stat. § 47-18
19.5 - Alaska Stat. § 40.17.080
19.6 - Hartig v. Stratman
19.7 - Board of Education of Minneapolis v. Hughes
19.8 - Adam J. Levitin, The Paper Chase: Securitization, Foreclosure, and the Uncertainty of Mortgage Title
19.9 - Note on Recording Systems and Informal Title
Chapter Twenty. Nuisance
20.1 - The Problem of Nuisance Definition
20.1.1 - Puritan Holding Co. v Holloschitz
20.2 - Adjudicating Nuisance
20.2.1 - Sans v. Ramsey Golf & Country Club, Inc.
20.2.2 - Note on the Clarity of Rights and Coase
20.3 - Remedies
20.3.1 - Boomer v. Atlantic Cement Co.
20.3.2 - Note on “Property Rules” and “Liability Rules”
20.3.3 - Spur Industries, Inc. v. Del E. Webb Development Co.
Chapter Twenty-one. Zoning
21.1 - Euclidean Zoning
21.1.1 - The Euclid Decision and Its History
21.1.2 - Euclidean Zoning Theory
21.1.3 - How Zoning Works (and Doesn’t)
21.1.4 - Two examples.
21.2 - Nonconforming Uses, Variances and Exceptions
21.2.1 - Nonconforming uses
21.2.2 - Variances
21.2.3 - Special exceptions and zoning amendments
Chapter Twenty-two. Easements
22.1 - What is an easement?
22.2 - Creating Easements
22.2.1 - Express easements
22.2.2 - Implied Easements
22.2.3 - Prescriptive Easements
22.2.4 - Irrevocable Licenses
22.3 - Transferring Easements
22.4 - Terminating Easements
22.5 - Negative Easements/Conservation Easements
22.6 - Public Use Rights
22.6.1 - Lawrence v. Clark Cnty.
22.6.2 - Matthews v. Bay Head Imp. Ass’n
Chapter Twenty-three. Restrictive Covenants
23.1 - Introduction
23.1.1 - Tulk v. Moxhay
23.2 - Creation of an Enforceable Restrictive Covenant
23.2.1 - Neponsit Prop. Owners’ Ass’n v. Emigrant Indus. Sav. Bank
23.2.2 - Restatement (Third) of Property (Servitudes)
23.2.3 - Shelley v. Kraemer
23.3 - Modification and Termination of Covenants
23.3.1 - El Di, Inc. v. Town of Bethany Beach
Chapter Twenty-four. Common-Interest Communities
24.1 - In General
24.1.1 - Homeowners Associations
24.1.2 - Condominiums
24.1.3 - Cooperatives
24.2 - Rulemaking Authority
24.2.1 - Hidden Harbour Estates, Inc. v. Norman
24.2.2 - Nahrstedt v. Lakeside Village Condominium Assoc., Inc.
24.3 - Enforcement of Rules and Covenants by Common-Interest Communities
24.3.1 - 40 West 67th Street v. Pullman
Chapter Twenty-five. Takings
25.1 - Rationales
25.2 - “Public Use”
25.2.1 - Kelo v. City of New London, Conn.
25.3 - Eminent Domain Operations
25.4 - Just Compensation
25.5 - Regulatory Takings
25.5.1 - Pennsylvania Coal Co. v. Mahon
25.5.2 - Penn Cent. Transp. Co. v. City of New York
25.6 - “Wipeouts”
25.6.1 - Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council
25.7 - Intellectual Property
25.8 - Exactions
25.8.1 - Dolan v. City of Tigard
25.8.2 - Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management Dist.