Property I

Case Rules

Armory v. Delamirie

The finder a jewel does not gain an absolute right of ownership but does gain a right of indefinite possession.

Baker v. Weedon

A court can sell land if it is deteriorating and it is in the best interest of all the parties.

Benjamin v. Lidner Aviation, Inc.

  • Property is mislaid when it is voluntarily put somewhere and the owner forgets where it is. Mislaid property is given to the owner of the premises where it was found against all but the true owner.

  • Property is abandoned when the owner no longer wants to possess it. Abandoned property belongs to the finder against all others, including the original owner.

Comedy III Productions, Inc. v. Gary Saderup, Inc.

A product does not violate the right to publicity when it is primarily the defendant's own expression rather the celebrity's.

DaimlerChrysler v. The Net Inc.

Pages 111–112, 112–113The Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act

Edwards v. Sims

  • The owner of the surface owns everything above and below his land unless explicitly separated.

  • Page 98, Paragraph 3

    A court of equity, however, has the inherent power to compel a mine owner to permit an inspection of his works at the suit of a party who can show reasonable ground for suspicion that his lands are being trespassed upon through them, and may issue an injunction to permit such inspection.


    The person applying for such an inspection must show a bona fide claim and allege facts showing a necessity for the inspection, and the person whose property is to be inspected must have had an opportunity to be heard in relation thereto.

Esteves v. Esteves

A co-owner must pay for his share of expenses, even if he is not occupying the property. An occupier does not have to pay rent to the non-possessor, but such value should be deducted from the non-possessor's expenses.

Gruen v. Gruen

  • Page 230, Bottom

    To make a valid inter vivos gift there must exist the intent on the part of the donor to make a present transfer; delivery of the gift, either actual or constructive to the donee; and acceptance by the donee.

  • Page 230, Bottom

    The proponent of a gift has the burden of proving each of these elements by clear and convincing evidence.

  • Page 232, Bottom

    As long as the evidence establishes an intent to make a present and irrevocable transfer of title or the right of ownership, there is a present transfer of some interest and the gift is effective immediately.

Harms v. Sprague

  • A joint tenancy is not severed when less than all of the joint tenants mortgage their interest in the property.

  • A mortgage does not survive as a lien on the joint tenant's property. A surviving joint tenant succeeds to the share of the deceased joint tenant by virtue of the conveyance which created the joint tenancy.

In Re Estate of Evans

An inter vivos gift requires donative intent and delivery.

Jacque v. Steenberg Homes, Inc.

When nominal damages are given in a trespass to land, punitive damages may also be given.

Johnson v. M'Intosh

It is the sole right of governments to claim American land based on discovery. Land unknown to Christian peoples belongs to the first government to have citizens discover it. It is then up to the government to arrange the native occupants' departure either by purchase or conquest.

Joyce v. General Motors Corporation

Ideas are not protected unless patented, copyrighted, or trademarked.

Kost v. Foster

Page 296, Paragraph 5

If the conditional element is incorporated into the description of or into the gift to the remainderman then the remainder is contingent, but if, after words giving a vested interest, a clause is added making it subject to being divested, the remainder is vested.

Lindh v. Surman

Pennsylvania law treats the giving of an engagement ring as a gift conditional on marriage.

Mahrenholz v. County Board of School Trustees of Lawrence County

The rights of re-entry for condition broken are neither alienable or devisable, but they are inheritable.

Mann v. Bradley

A joint tenancy may be terminated by mutual assent.

Moore v. Regents of the University of California

Page 57

To establish a conversion, plaintiff must establish an actual interference with his ownership or right of possession. . . . Where plaintiff neither has title to the property alleged to have been converted, nor possession thereof, he cannot maintain an action for conversion.

Mullis v. Winchester

  • To be adverse possession, it must be open, actual, continuous, hostile, and exclusive, all for the required period of time.

  • For open, wild, unfenced lands not capable of cultivation, it is only required that the adverse possessor act in such a way consistent with the use to which the lands may be put. No residence or occupancy is needed.

Norman v. Allison

Occupying land under a mistake as to the boundary line, without intended to claim beyond the true line is not adverse possession.

Pierson v. Post

Wild animals become property when captured.

Popov v. Hayashi

  • One must retain control of a ball after an initial contact to obtain possession of it.

  • Page 86If one does significant but incomplete stops to obtain possession of a piece of abandoned personal property and the effort is interrupted by the unlawful acts of others, the actor has a legally cognizable pre-possessory interest in the property which constitutes a qualified right to possession which can support a cause of action for conversion.

Scherer v. Hyland

Page 223, Paragraph 4

Where there has been unequivocal proof of a deliberate and well-considered donative intent on the part of the donor, . . . a "constructive" or "symbolic" delivery is sufficient to vest title in the donee. However, where this is allowed the evidence must clearly show an intention to part presently with some substantial attribute of ownership.

Schmidt v. Wittinger

  • There is a presumption that partition in kind should be made unless great prejudice is shown.

  • A joint tenant is liable only for his share of expenses.

Smith v. Cutler

Page 342, Paragraph 2

The use of the phrase "for and during their joint lives and upon the death of either of them, then to the survivor of them" indicates an intention of the parties to share a tenancy in common for life

Smith v. Rucker

The law assumes a co-ownership is created as a tenancy in common unless there is clear, unambiguous, and express language to the contrary.

State v. Shack

Property rights are not absolute.

Stump v. Whibco

The possession must be open and notorious, so that it could be noticed by the true owner.

United States v. Craft

Each tenant possesses individual rights in the estate sufficient to constitute "property" or "rights to property" for the purposes of the lien.

United Steel Workers v. United States Steel Corp.

Property rights require a legal basis to possess.

West v. Roberts

Under the UCC, the good faith purchaser for value keeps the item when it was stolen by fraud rather than force.

White v. Brown

It is assumed that the testator disposes of the whole of his estate if that is reasonable and consistent with the general scope and provisions of the will.