# Property I (Fall 2013)

Welcome to Property II. We will be using the Dukeminier, Krier, Alexander, Schill, PROPERTY (7th ed.) casebook. In this class, we will cover acquiring property, future interests, estates, and leaseholds. Class will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:20 pm. – 1:50 p.m.

It is really, really easy to follow this class. All new items will be posted to this page (no need to scan through my entire blog). You can subscribe to new posts through RSS, Twitter, Facebook, through Google calendar, and by email. I recommend that each of you subscribe to new items by email, as this is probably the easiest way to be alerted of new items.
Recent Posts. You can view all posts here.

Posted by on Dec 12, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

Hello everyone. I apologize for interrupting your exam period with this note. I have submitted grades for Property I.  I am very proud of all of you. On the whole, you nailed it. I put together really difficult fact patterns that were quite open-ended, with the intent that there would be many, many, many correct answers. I thought I had considered all the possible answers, but several of you came up with things I didn’t even think of. Well done.

Additionally, many of you incorporated various concepts we talked about in class that were not in the textbook (such as the Coase Theorem, various constitutional concepts, etc.).

Finally, despite all of your concerns, almost every single one of you managed to completely answer the question within the word limit. In other words, the differences between the A, B, and C was not due to an inability to write within the word limits.

First year classes are subject to the school’s mandatory grading curve (see p. 84 of the handbook):

grades assigned in classes of 40 or more students shall conform to a mandatory grading distribution. That distribution provides for a required 9-16 percent for A+/A, a required 16-30 percent for A+/A/A-; a required 16-30 percent for C+/C/C-/D+/D/F; and a required 9-16 percent for C/C-/D+/D/F. The class average shall be 2.85-3.15.

I think you will find that I maximized the grades here. I approached the upper limits of the grades allowed above an A-, and approached the lower limits of grades below C+. In addition, the class average was very close to the upper limit (3.119). In other words, there were more As than Cs, and the class averages were quite high.

Here is the full breakdown.

• Average: 3.119
• A and above – 15.7%
• A- and above – 28.6%
• C+ and below: 18.6%
• C and below: 10%

Thank you all for a great semester.

## Prop1 Class 28 – Landlord-Tenant Relationships III

Posted by on Nov 21, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

The lecture notes are here and the live chat is here.

Here is the apartment at issue in Hilder v. St. Peter at 10 Church Street, Rutland, VT.

This is Judge Richard Posner. He adjudicates in beast mode.

This is the other beast of the 7th Circuit, Judge Frank Easterbrook.

## Prop1 Sample Exam Question & Answer

Posted by on Nov 19, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

## The Question

Property I Sample Examination

Instructions

(These are the instructions that will be on the final exam).

You will have three hours to complete this exam. There are two essay questions. Each question is worth 50% of the final score. Each question has a 500-word limit. Anything you write past 500 words will not be read. Please use the word-count feature to check the length of each answer, or count the words if you are hand-writing the exam.

The exam is completely open-book. You can use anything you wish, so long as that it was printed before the distribution of this exam. Obtaining any new information from anyone or anything after the exam is prohibited.

Question

The year is 1839. The Republic of Texas has recently declared its independence. You are clerking for the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, and have been asked to prepare a memorandum explaining this very-Texas property problem. Because time is short, the Chief Justice wants a memorandum of no more than 500 words. (Y’all and other Texisms count as one word). If there are multiple possible outcomes, please discuss the options. Texas applies all of the common law property rules, as stated in the Restatement (First) of Property (which will be published in about 100 years). Any similarities or dissimilarities between this fact pattern and actual Texas history are unintentional–please indulge your Yankee professor.

In 1836, Austin led the Texians in their triumphant victory in the Texas Revolution. During his conquests, Austin claimed ownership of two plots of land in what was now the Republic of Texas: Gonzales and Alamo. Nearing the end of his life, Austin set out to ensure that his friends and family were taken care of after his death. At the time, Austin was not married, and had three children: Bowie, Crocket, and Dusk. Austin also had several close friends: Eustache, Fannin, and Gamar.

On January 1, 1837, Austin recorded the first of two conveyances: “I convey Gonzales to Bowie for life, then to Eustache and his heirs so long as the cannon used during the Battle of Gonzales remains in Gonzales.”

On January 2, 1837, Bowie took his own life and fell on his (bowie) knife.

On February 1, 1837, Austin recorded the second conveyance: “I convey Alamo to Crockett and Dusk jointly, but if the Alamo fort is not maintained, then to Fannin and his heirs.

On February 2, 1837, Crockett locks the Alamo fort, and prevents Dusk from entering.

On February 14, 1837, Crockett became too busy hunting raccoons for his new coonskin cap, and forgot about the Alamo. It quickly fell into disrepair.

On May 1, 1837, tragically, Crockett was attacked by a rabid racoon, and dies.

On May 14, 1837, afraid of his own mortality after Crockett’s sudden demise, Dusk recorded the following conveyance: “Alamo to myself for my life, then to Gamar and his heirs.”

On May 15, 1837 at Crockett’s funeral, Fannin learns that the Alamo is in disrepair, and tells Dusk that he is moving in.

On May 16, 1837, Dusk dies during a tragic mutton-bustin’ accident, that would later become known as the silence of the lambs.

On May 30, 1837 Fannin enters Alamo and demands access. Gamar, who had moved in after Dusk kicked the bucket, won’t let him in.

On December 31, 1837, Austin died, leaving no heirs.

On January 2, 1838, General Hanta Anna, still peeved over losing the war, entered Gonzales and claimed that Austin never properly acquired Gonzales, and that the land belongs to him. Hanta Anna claimed that in 1824 the Native Americans in Gonzales conveyed the land to him. Eustache, with a classic Texian bravado and swagger, kicks out Hanta Anna.

On February 1, 1838, Hanta Anna, taking Gonzales’ “Come and Take It” flag a little too seriously, came and took it. He seized the canon and brought it South of the Border. By messing with Texas, he nearly ignited another Revolution.

With these facts, address the following questions in your memorandum to the Chief Justice.

(1) With respect to Gonzales, describe the interests held by Austin, Bowie, Eustache, and Hanta Anna at the following dates (If a person has not yet acquired any interest at a certain date, no need to discuss it):

(a) 1/1/37

(b) 1/2/37

(c) 1/2/38

(d) 2/1/38

(2) With respect to Alamo, describe the interests held by Austin, Crocket, Dusk, Fanin, and Gamar at the following dates (If a person has not yet acquired any interest at a certain date, no need to discuss it):

(a) 2/1/37

(b) 2/2/37

(c) 2/14/37

(d) 5/1/37

(e) 5/16/37

(f) 5/30/37

(exactly 493 words)

1-1-37

At the time of conveyance, Austin retains a possibility of reverter in fee simple. Bowie has a life estate. Eustache has a vested remainder in fee simple determinable.

1-2-37

After Bowie’s death, Eustache has fee simple determinable in Gonzales, so long as the cannon remains in Gonzales. Austin retains his possibility of reverter, which will divest Eustache as soon as the cannon is removed. No right of entry is necessary.

2-1-37

Austin retains no interest. Crockett and Dusk hold Alamo as joint tenants in common, but that interest is defeasible. Fannin has a shifting executory interest, that will divest the joint tenants if the fort is not maintained.

2-2-37

By locking Dusk out, there may be two possible options. First, the court may find that the fourth unity (possession) was severed, and the joint tenancy in common should be converted to a tenancy in common. Second, the court may find that Crockett is liable to Dusk for rent for denying Dusk access.

2-14-37

Failing to maintain the Alamo is not enough to trigger the condition subsequent. Alamo still belongs to Dusk and Crocket, either as joint tenants in common, or as tenants in common. Fanin would need to enter for his interest to become possessory.

5-1-37

The status of Alamo after Crockett’s death depends.

First, if it remained a joint tenancy in common, Dusk, through his right of survivorship, becomes the owner of Alamo in fee simple.

Second, if became a tenancy in common, Crockett’s share would go to Crockett’s heirs. The heir would become Dusk’s new co-tenant.

5-16-37

Again, the status of Alamo after Dusk’s death depends on the nature of the cotenancy before Crockett’s death.

First, if Alamo remained a joint tenancy, then Dusk, as survivor, received the land in fee simple. Then Dusk could give himself a life estate, and give Gamar a vested remainder. At Dusk’s death, Gamar would take the land in fee simple, subject to Fannin’s shifting executory interest.

Second, if it became a tenancy in common, and Crockett’s share went to Crockett’s heirs, then the conveyance to Gamar would be void, as Dusk could not alienate the land in fee simple. Gamar would take nothing. At Dusk’s death, Dusk’s share in Alamo would go to Dusk’s heirs. At this point, Dusk’s heir and Crocket’s heir would own Alamo as tenants in common. Both interests are subject to divestment by Fannin.

5-30-37

Once Fannin enters, as the Alamo is in disrepair, his shifting executory interest divests either Gamar, or the heirs of Dusk and Crocket, of Alamo. Fannin now holds Alamo in fee simple.

1-2-38

Following Johnson v. M’Intosh, courts do not recognize the capacity of the Native Americans to contract. Thus the transaction is void, and Austin acquired Gonzales through “conquest.”

2-1-38

Once the cannon is removed, Eustache’s fee simple determinable is divested. The land would go to Austin, but he’s dead. Since Austin has no heirs, the land escheats to the Republic of Texas.

## Prop1 Class 27 – Landlord-Tenant Relationship II

Posted by on Nov 19, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

The lecture notes are here and the live chat is here.

The review session will be on Friday 11/22 at 9:00 a.m. in room 518. For the first 90 minutes I will administer the exam. At 10:30 a.m. I will go over the exam. You can see the question I will and out here.

This is 207 Union Street in Hackensack, NJ.

## Prop1 Class 25 – Landlord-Tenant Relationships I

Posted by on Nov 12, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

The lecture notes are here and the live chat is here.

This site explains detail the eviction process in Texas. Here is the section of the Texas code governing evictions and forcible entry.

In Texas, forcible entry without resort to judicial process is illegal. In other words, no self-help.

Sec. 24.001. FORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER. (a) A person commits a forcible entry and detainer if the person enters the real property of another without legal authority or by force and refuses to surrender possession on demand.

(b) For the purposes of this chapter, a forcible entry is:

(1) an entry without the consent of the person in actual possession of the property;

(2) an entry without the consent of a tenant at will or by sufferance; or

(3) an entry without the consent of a person who acquired possession by forcible entry.

Here is the process governing evictions:

Sec. 24.005.  NOTICE TO VACATE PRIOR TO FILING EVICTION SUIT. (a) If the occupant is a tenant under a written lease or oral rental agreement, the landlord must give a tenant who defaults or holds over beyond the end of the rental term or renewal period at least three days’ written notice to vacate the premises before the landlord files a forcible detainer suit, unless the parties have contracted for a shorter or longer notice period in a written lease or agreement. A landlord who files a forcible detainer suit on grounds that the tenant is holding over beyond the end of the rental term or renewal period must also comply with the tenancy termination requirements of Section 91.001.

(d)  In all situations in which the entry by the occupant was a forcible entry under Section 24.001, the person entitled to possession must give the occupant oral or written notice to vacate before the landlord files a forcible entry and detainer suit. The notice to vacate under this subsection may be to vacate immediately or by a specified deadline.

(e)  If the lease or applicable law requires the landlord to give a tenant an opportunity to respond to a notice of proposed eviction, a notice to vacate may not be given until the period provided for the tenant to respond to the eviction notice has expired.

(f)  The notice to vacate shall be given in person or by mail at the premises in question. Notice in person may be by personal delivery to the tenant or any person residing at the premises who is 16 years of age or older or personal delivery to the premises and affixing the notice to the inside of the main entry door. Notice by mail may be by regular mail, by registered mail, or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the premises in question. If the dwelling has no mailbox and has a keyless bolting device, alarm system, or dangerous animal that prevents the landlord from entering the premises to leave the notice to vacate on the inside of the main entry door, the landlord may securely affix the notice on the outside of the main entry door.

(g)  The notice period is calculated from the day on which the notice is delivered.

(h)  A notice to vacate shall be considered a demand for possession for purposes of Subsection (b) of Section 24.002.

(i)  If before the notice to vacate is given as required by this section the landlord has given a written notice or reminder to the tenant that rent is due and unpaid, the landlord may include in the notice to vacate required by this section a demand that the tenant pay the delinquent rent or vacate the premises by the date and time stated in the notice.

And here is a photo and video of the Pierre “Luxury” Apartments in Hackensack, NJ. A 1-bedroom apartment starts at \$1845!

## Prop1 Class 24 – Leaseholds II

Posted by on Nov 7, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

The lecture notes are here and the livechat is here.

## Prop1 Sample Exam Question

Posted by on Nov 5, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

Property I Sample Examination

Instructions

(These are the instructions that will be on the final exam).

You will have three hours to complete this exam. There are two essay questions. Each question is worth 50% of the final score. Each question has a 500-word limit. Anything you write past 500 words will not be read. Please use the word-count feature to check the length of each answer, or count the words if you are hand-writing the exam.

The exam is completely open-book. You can use anything you wish, so long as that it was printed before the distribution of this exam. Obtaining any new information from anyone or anything after the exam is prohibited.

Question

The year is 1839. The Republic of Texas has recently declared its independence. You are clerking for the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, and have been asked to prepare a memorandum explaining this very-Texas property problem. Because time is short, the Chief Justice wants a memorandum of no more than 500 words. (Y’all and other Texisms count as one word). If there are multiple possible outcomes, please discuss the options. Texas applies all of the common law property rules, as stated in the Restatement (First) of Property (which will be published in about 100 years). Any similarities or dissimilarities between this fact pattern and actual Texas history are unintentional–please indulge your Yankee professor.

In 1836, Austin led the Texians in their triumphant victory in the Texas Revolution. During his conquests, Austin claimed ownership of two plots of land in what was now the Republic of Texas: Gonzales and Alamo. Nearing the end of his life, Austin set out to ensure that his friends and family were taken care of after his death. At the time, Austin was not married, and had three children: Bowie, Crocket, and Dusk. Austin also had several close friends: Eustache, Fannin, and Gamar.

On January 1, 1837, Austin recorded the first of two conveyances: “I convey Gonzales to Bowie for life, then to Eustache and his heirs so long as the cannon used during the Battle of Gonzales remains in Gonzales.”

On January 2, 1837, Bowie took his own life and fell on his (bowie) knife.

On February 1, 1837, Austin recorded the second conveyance: “I convey Alamo to Crockett and Dusk jointly, but if the Alamo fort is not maintained, then to Fannin and his heirs.

On February 2, 1837, Crockett locks the Alamo fort, and prevents Dusk from entering.

On February 14, 1837, Crockett became too busy hunting raccoons for his new coonskin cap, and forgot about the Alamo. It quickly fell into disrepair.

On May 1, 1837, tragically, Crockett was attacked by a rabid racoon, and dies.

On May 14, 1837, afraid of his own mortality after Crockett’s sudden demise, Dusk recorded the following conveyance: “Alamo to myself for my life, then to Gamar and his heirs.”

On May 15, 1837 at Crockett’s funeral, Fannin learns that the Alamo is in disrepair, and tells Dusk that he is moving in.

On May 16, 1837, Dusk dies during a tragic mutton-bustin’ accident, that would later become known as the silence of the lambs.

On May 30, 1837 Fannin enters Alamo and demands access. Gamar, who had moved in after Dusk kicked the bucket, won’t let him in.

On December 31, 1837, Austin died, leaving no heirs.

On January 2, 1838, General Hanta Anna, still peeved over losing the war, entered Gonzales and claimed that Austin never properly acquired Gonzales, and that the land belongs to him. Hanta Anna claimed that in 1824 the Native Americans in Gonzales conveyed the land to him. Eustache, with a classic Texian bravado and swagger, kicks out Hanta Anna.

On February 1, 1838, Hanta Anna, taking Gonzales’ “Come and Take It” flag a little too seriously, came and took it. He seized the canon and brought it South of the Border. By messing with Texas, he nearly ignited another Revolution.

With these facts, address the following questions in your memorandum to the Chief Justice.

(1) With respect to Gonzales, describe the interests held by Austin, Bowie, Eustache, and Hanta Anna at the following dates (If a person has not yet acquired any interest at a certain date, no need to discuss it):

(a) 1/1/37

(b) 1/2/37

(c) 1/2/38

(d) 2/1/38

(2) With respect to Alamo, describe the interests held by Austin, Crocket, Dusk, Fanin, and Gamar at the following dates (If a person has not yet acquired any interest at a certain date, no need to discuss it):

(a) 2/1/37

(b) 2/2/37

(c) 2/14/37

(d) 5/1/37

(e) 5/16/37

(f) 5/30/37

## Prop1 Class 23 – Leaseholds I

Posted by on Nov 5, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

The lecture notes are here. The live chat is here.

This is Lord Edward Coke, the Chief Justice of England. He is most famous for prosecuting Sir Walter Raleigh (whose inability to confront witnesses was the origin of our confrontation clause) and the Gunpowder Plot (remember, remember the 5th of November, or V for Vendetta). Coke is most famous for deciding Lord Bonham’s case, the case most famously cited for the proposition that a court could find a law unconstitutional. The King was subject to the laws, and the laws of Parliament were void if in violation of “common right and reason.” It was not John Marshall who created the concept of judicial review. However, after this case, he was transferred to the King’s Bench, where he had less power. He also famously wrote the Institutes of the Lawes of England.

And, for those interested, the South Texas College of Law Library has a 1607 English Dictionary. None other than Lord Coke ordered it censored for its seditious definition of the word liberty. Indeed Coke ordered the book to be burned!

The Texas Statute of Frauds provides:

Sec. 26.01.  PROMISE OR AGREEMENT MUST BE IN WRITING. (a) A promise or agreement described in Subsection (b) of this section is not enforceable unless the promise or agreement, or a memorandum of it, is

(1)  in writing; and

(2)  signed by the person to be charged with the promise or agreement or by someone lawfully authorized to sign for him.

(b)  Subsection (a) of this section applies to:

(1)  a promise by an executor or administrator to answer out of his own estate for any debt or damage due from his testator or intestate;

(2)  a promise by one person to answer for the debt, default, or miscarriage of another person;

(3)  an agreement made on consideration of marriage or on consideration of nonmarital conjugal cohabitation;

(4)  a contract for the sale of real estate;

(5)  a lease of real estate for a term longer than one year;

(6)  an agreement which is not to be performed within one year from the date of making the agreement;

(7)  a promise or agreement to pay a commission for the sale or purchase of:

(A)  an oil or gas mining lease;

(B)  an oil or gas royalty;

(C)  minerals;  or

(D)  a mineral interest;  and

(8)  an agreement, promise, contract, or warranty of cure relating to medical care or results thereof made by a physician or health care provider as defined in Section 74.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.  This section shall not apply to pharmacists.

I have an album of photos of the house from Shelley v. Kraemer here:

Here is the text of the 14th Amendment:

No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The 13th Amendment is the only Amendment to apply directly to individuals, and not the government:

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

## Prop1 Class 22 – Martial Property III

Posted by on Oct 31, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

The lecture notes are here. The live chat is here.

This is the section of the Texas code that governs equitable distribution of community property after a divorce:

Sec. 7.001.  GENERAL RULE OF PROPERTY DIVISION. In a decree of divorce or annulment, the court shall order a division of the estate of the parties in a manner that the court deems just and right, having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997.

Sec. 7.002.  DIVISION AND DISPOSITION OF CERTAIN PROPERTY UNDER SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES. (a) In addition to the division of the estate of the parties required by Section 7.001, in a decree of divorce or annulment the court shall order a division of the following real and personal property, wherever situated, in a manner that the court deems just and right, having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage:

(1)  property that was acquired by either spouse while domiciled in another state and that would have been community property if the spouse who acquired the property had been domiciled in this state at the time of the acquisition; or

(2)  property that was acquired by either spouse in exchange for real or personal property and that would have been community property if the spouse who acquired the property so exchanged had been domiciled in this state at the time of its acquisition.

(b)  In a decree of divorce or annulment, the court shall award to a spouse the following real and personal property, wherever situated, as the separate property of the spouse:

(1)  property that was acquired by the spouse while domiciled in another state and that would have been the spouse’s separate property if the spouse had been domiciled in this state at the time of acquisition; or

(2)  property that was acquired by the spouse in exchange for real or personal property and that would have been the spouse’s separate property if the spouse had been domiciled in this state at the time of acquisition.

(c)  In a decree of divorce or annulment, the court shall confirm the following as the separate property of a spouse if partitioned or exchanged by written agreement of the spouses:

(1)  income and earnings from the spouses’ property, wages, salaries, and other forms of compensation received on or after January 1 of the year in which the suit for dissolution of marriage was filed; or

(2)  income and earnings from the spouses’ property, wages, salaries, and other forms of compensation received in another year during which the spouses were married for any part of the year.

## Prop1 Class 21 – Marital Property II

Posted by on Oct 29, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

The lecture notes are here, and the live chat is here.

What is the value of a law degree? According to a (controversial) article, titled The Economic Value of a Law Degree, the value of a law degree, as opposed to stopping with a bachelor’s degree is roughly \$1 million over the course of the year:

After controlling for observable ability sorting, we find that a law degree is associated with a 60 percent median increase in monthly earnings and 50 percent increase in median hourly wages. The mean annual earnings premium of a law degree is approximately \$53,300 in 2012 dollars. The law degree earnings premium is cyclical and recent years are within historical norms.

We estimate the mean pre-tax lifetime value of a law degree as approximately \$1,000,000.

This chart depicts the value of a law degree over the course of a persons’ career.

This chart breaks down the lifetime earnings from a law degree by decade across percentiles (ranging from people the bottom to the top of law degree holders):

Here are the numbers broken down by gender:

This is the great diva Frederica von Stade.

Here is Stade singing at the 1991 Metropolitan Opera Gala

And more opera.

Justice Ginsburg, one of the most famous opera fans in the country, is a huge fan of von Stade, listing her work as among her favorite:

Mozart, “The Marriage of Figaro”; Samuel Ramey, Lucia Popp, Thomas Allen, Kiri Te Kanawa, Frederica von Stade, Kurt Moll, Robert Tear, Georg Solti conducting the London Philharmonic and London Opera Chorus (Decca).

The duo also share something else in common. They were both selected by the Georgia O’Keeffee Museum as Woman of Distinction: RBG and van Stade.

This is Edith Windsor, the face of United States v. Windsor.

This map shows the evolution of same-sex marriage in the United States.

Here are forecasts of projected support of same-sex marriage over the next eight years.

Texas Code 2.401 governs “common law” or “informal marriage”

Sec. 2.401.  PROOF OF INFORMAL MARRIAGE. (a) In a judicial, administrative, or other proceeding, the marriage of a man and woman may be proved by evidence that:

(1)  a declaration of their marriage has been signed as provided by this subchapter; or

(2)  the man and woman agreed to be married and after the agreement they lived together in this state as husband and wife and there represented to others that they were married.

(b)  If a proceeding in which a marriage is to be proved as provided by Subsection (a)(2) is not commenced before the second anniversary of the date on which the parties separated and ceased living together, it is rebuttably presumed that the parties did not enter into an agreement to be married.

(c)  A person under 18 years of age may not:

(1)  be a party to an informal marriage; or

(2)  execute a declaration of informal marriage under Section 2.402.

(d)  A person may not be a party to an informal marriage or execute a declaration of an informal marriage if the person is presently married to a person who is not the other party to the informal marriage or declaration of an informal marriage, as applicable.

Also relevant for our discussion is 2.001 (emphasis added):

Sec. 2.001.  MARRIAGE LICENSE. (a) A man and a woman desiring to enter into a ceremonial marriage must obtain a marriage license from the county clerk of any county of this state.

(b)  A license may not be issued for the marriage of persons of the same sex.

## Prop1 Class 20 – Marital Property I

Posted by on Oct 24, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

The lecture notes are here, and the live chat is here.

This is the 1848 Declaration of Sentiments, authored by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and other leading suffragists at the Seneca Falls Convention in July of 1848. Relevant to our discussions are the provisions concerning coverture, and the inability of women to own, use, and dispose of property. Among the other “”injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman”:

• He has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly dead.
• He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she earns.
• He has so framed the laws of divorce, as to what shall be the proper causes of divorce, in case of separation, to whom the guardianship of the children shall be given; as to be wholly regardless of the happiness of the women—the law, in all cases, going upon a false supposition of the supremacy of a man, and giving all power into his hands.

The 19th Amendment, which prevented states from denying the franchise to woman, was ratified on August 18, 1920.

## Prop1 Class 19 – Co-Ownership II

Posted by on Oct 22, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

The lecture notes are here, and the live chat is here.

Courtesy of the Dukeminier & Krier web site, here is a map of the property at issue in Delfino v. Vealencis.

Here was the map for the proposed subdivision:

And here is the Vealencis family.

## Prop1 Class 18 – Co-Ownership 1

Posted by on Oct 17, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

The lecture notes are here and the live chat is here.

Please select the best date for a final exam review session here. The exam is 12/2.

## Prop1 Class 17 – Rule Against Perpetuities

Posted by on Oct 15, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

The lecture notes are here, and the live chat is here. Thankfully, Texas has abolished the Rule in Shelley’s case, the Doctrine of Worthier Title, and the Rule Forbidding a Remainder in the Grantor’s Heirs. This is the Texas Rule Against Perpetuities.

RULE AGAINST PERPETUITIES. The rule against perpetuities applies to trusts other than charitable trusts. Accordingly, an interest is not good unless it must vest, if at all, not later than 21 years after some life in being at the time of the creation of the interest, plus a period of gestation. Any interest in a trust may, however, be reformed or construed to the extent and as provided by Section 5.043.

In case you were wondering, the youngest mother on record is five-years old. And in a bizarre case, a man adopted his girlfriend to protect his assets.

And, if you hate the Rule against Perpetuities, blame this guy. Orlando Bridgeman, whose crazy conveyances raised the possibility of perpetuity, which led to the creation of the Rule Against Perpetuities. Don’t blame me. Blame Orlando. Note: The Rule Against Perpetuities will not be tested on the final examination. In other words, this is a wrap for RAP.

## Prop1 Class 16 – Future Interests II – Executory Interests

Posted by on Oct 10, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

Today we will continue covering future interests.

The lecture notes are here, and the live chat is here.

This is Henry VIII, who abolished the Statute of Uses.

He is most famous for breaking England away from the Roman Catholic Church so he could obtain a divorce from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. She did not bear him a son, and he blamed her. Now we know that the Man provides the Y-chromosome, and is responsible for determining the gender of the offspring).

Henry would go on to be married a total of 6 times, in his pursuit of a male heir.  Not all of his wives faired so well

Here is the rhyme we use to remember their fates: Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived.

This helpful graphic summarizes the fate of Henry’s wives. Henry’s most famous offspring was Elizabeth, who became Queen Elizabeth I (remember Shakespeare in Love?).

## Prop1 Class 15 – Future Interests I: Interests in Transferor and Transferrees

Posted by on Oct 8, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

The lectures notes are here. The live chat is here.

Example 1. 0 conveys Blackacre “toA for life.” 0 has a reversion in fee simple that is certain to become possessory. At A’s death, either 0 or O’s successors in interest will be entitled to possession

Example 2. 0 conveys Whiteacre “to A for life, then to B and her heirs if B survives A. O has a reversion in fee simple that is not certain to become possessory. If B dies before A, O will be entitled to possession at A’s death. On the other hand, if A dies before B, O’s reversion is divested on A’s death and will never become possessory.

O conveys Blackacre “to Hartford School Board so long as used for school purposes.”

## Prop1 Class 14 – Estates III: Leasehold and Defeasible Estates

Posted by on Oct 3, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

The lectures notes are here. The live chat is here.

This diagram represents the Fee Simple Defeasible, which comes with a Possibility or Reverter. For example, “so long as premises are used for school purposes.” The reversion happens automatically–no need for the grantor (or his heirs) to take any action.

This diagram represents the Fee Simple Subject to Condition Subsequent, which comes with a Right of Re-Entry. For example, ” but if the premises are not used for school purposes, the grantor has a right to re-enter and retake.” Unlike the Possibility of Reverter, the Right of Re-Entry requires the Grantor (or his heris) to take actin, and re-enter the land.

This diagram represents the Fee Simple subject to an executory interest, which comes with an executory interest, which is vested in a third person, instead of the grantor. For example, “O to “School board, but if it cease to use the land as a school, to the Library.”

This is the grant at issue in Mahrenholz:

“this land to be used for school purposes only; otherwise to revert to Grantors herein.”

And a related case from the Texas Supreme Court:  El Dorado Land Co. v. City of McKinney, No. 11-0834 (Mar. 29, 2013)

El Dorado sold the city some land for use as a park. The conveyance required that the land “shall be used only as a Community Park,” and if not used for that purpose, then El Dorado would have the right to buy the land back. Ten years later the city built a public library on part of the land, which resulted in El Dorado reminding the city about that “park” use requirement by giving notice that it was going to buy the land back. “El Dorado’s letter further asked the City within ten days to acknowledge its obligations under the deed and to suggest an acceptable closing date.”

The Texas Supreme Court held in El Dorado’s favor that the deed restriction was a “right of reentry,” which is a conditional future interest, and “property” under Texas law. The court relied on the reasoning of Leeco Gas & Oil Co. v. Nueces County, 736 S.W.2d 629 (Tex. 1987), a case with similar facts which held that “a future interest in real property is compensable” under the Texas Constitution’s Takings Clause. Slip op. at 6-7. In Leeco, the deed provided that the property would automatically revert if the county did not use it as a park. The court rejected the city’s attempt to distinguish the future interest at issue in Leeco from El Dorado’s, holding that it made no difference that in Leeco the interest was self-executing, and El Dorado’s interest gave it the right to repurchase.

This is the school at issue in the article about the Maeser School.

Here is a picture of the Odd Fellows building:

This chapter of IOOF seems to be gone. Presumably the grantors heirs exercised their right of reentry.

## Prop1 Class 13 – Estates II: Life Estate

Posted by on Oct 1, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

The lecture note are here. The live chat is here.

This diagram illustrates the life estate.

Here is Jessica Lide’s will:

April 19, 1972

I, Jessie Lide, being in sound mind declare this to be my last will and testament. I appoint my niece Sandra White Perry to be the executrix of my estate.
I wish Evelyn White to have my home to live in and not to be sold.
I also leave my personal property to Sandra White Perry. My house is not to be sold.

Jessie Lide (Underscoring by testatrix)

Here is a picture of Jessica Lide’s home. Jessica Lide is on the right, Sandra White is in the middle.

Here is the current life expectancy table. If you were born in 1984, your life expectancy is 74.56

Here is the will from the Weedon case:

Second; I give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Anna Plaxico Weedon all of my property both real, personal and mixed during her natural life and upon her death to her children, ifshe has any, and in the event she dies without issue then at the death ofmy wife Anna Plaxico Weedon I give, bequeath and devise all of my property to my grandchildren, each grandchild sharing equally with the other.

Third; In this will I have not provided for my daughters, Mrs. Florence Baker and Mrs. Delette WeedonJones, the reason is, I have given them their share ofmy property and they have not looked after and tared for me,in the latter part ofmy life.

## Prop1 Class 12 – Estates I: Fee Simple

Posted by on Sep 26, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

The lecture note are here. The live chat is here.

This is Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., who famously wrote “It is revolting to have no better reason for a rule than that it was laid down in time of Henry IV (1594-1610).It is still more revolting if the grounds upon which it was laid down have vanished long since, and the rule simply persists from imitation of the past.”

This is Justice Benjamin Cardozo, who served on the New York Court of Appeals (the highest Court in New York) from 1927-1932. In 1932, Cardozo replaced Holmes on the United States Supreme Court, and would serve until 1938. Cardozo was replaced by another famous Justice, Justice Felix Frankfurter.

The feudal system began after the Norman Conquest of 1066.

(Note, in London, they do not refer to William as the Conqueror–he did not conquer London, after all!).

This diagram helps to explain the feudal structure.

This drawing represents a cleric, a knight, and a serf.

Serfs were all the way at the bottom of the pyramid.

Here are several diagrams of the feudal manor.

Here is Magna Carta–the great Charter. Forced upon King John by the Barrons at Runnymede in 1215, this document served as the basis for many of the oldest forms of constitutional freedom–including the due proces clause (then known as the law of the land clause). And there’s lots of other useless stuff. In particular, section 12 limits instances where lords can collect aid (or scutage) from tenants.

(12) No `scutage’ or `aid’ may be levied in our kingdom without its general consent, unless it is for the ransom of our person, to make our eldest son a knight, and (once) to marry our eldest daughter. For these purposes ouly a reasonable `aid’ may be levied. `Aids’ from the city of London are to be treated similarly.

Here is a restored copy of it.

This diagram represents fee simple. Like Buzz Lightyear, this estate endures to infinity, and beyond.

This diagram represents the fee simple’s restrictive cousin, the fee tail.

This drawing illustrates the livery of seisin.

William Penn performed the livery of seisin on October 27, 1682 upon his arrival in what is now New Castle, Delaware, but became part of Penn’s Woodlands (also known as Pennsylvania). There is a historical marker commemorating the event.

Near here October 27, 1682, William Penn first stepped on American soil. He proceeded to the fort and performed Livery of Seisin. “He took the key, thereof,…we did deliver unto him 1 turf with a twig upon it, a porringer with river water and soyle, in part of all.”

Here is a  photo of a statue of Penn holding a twig and turf.

This video illustrates the Livery of Seisin.

## Prop1 Class 11 – Acquisition by Gift

Posted by on Sep 24, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

The class notes are here. The live chat is here.

If you don’t know why I am posting pictures of Britney Spears and Kim Kardashian, you didn’t read the notes closely enough 🙂 Apparently Kim gave it back.

The is Joseph F. Van Pelt, the intestate in Newman v. Bost.

Here is the Van Pelt house.

Here is his grave. His obituary is here.

This is the Klimt painting at issue in Gruen v. Gruen.

## Prop1 Class 8 – Acquisition by Find

Posted by on Sep 12, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

The lecture notes are here. The live chat is here.

When you think of a Chimney Sweep, this image may come to mind.

But this image is probably a lot closer to young Master Armory.

This diagram shows the different ways a sweep can get stuck in a flute.

A seven-flue stack, showing how it would be cleaned by Climbing boys, or with little modification by a human cleaning machine (a brush). In the diagram:
A- is a hearth served by vertical flue, a horizontal flue, and then a vertical rise having two right-angled bends that were difficult for brushes.
B- is a long straight flue (14in by 9in) being climbed by a boy using back elbows and knees.
C- is a short flue from a second floor hearth. The climbing boy has reached the chimney pot, which has a diametre too small for him to exit that way
D (omitted) is a short flue from the third floor
E shows a disaster. The climbing boy is stuck in the flue, his knees jammed against his chin. The master sweep will have to cut away the chimney to remove him. First he will try to persuade him to move: sticking pins in the feet, lighting a small fire under him. Another boy could climb up behind him and try to pull him out with a rope tied round the legs- it would be hours before he suffocated.
F (omitted)
G How a flue could be straighten to make it sweepable by mechanical means
H A dead climbing boy, suffocated in a fall of soot that accumulated at the cant of the flue.

Frequently the boys would get stuck (the image on the right).

Here are some examples of de Lamerie’s work (courtesy of the Dukeminier property web site).

Source: Mfa.org. This was created in 1736 and is currently housed at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts.

This work was created in 1745 and is housed at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

There are many different de Lamerie works in this photograph of the interior of the Marks Antique Silver gallery in London, England. Marks frequently sends travelling galleries of antique silver to the United States in places such as Palm Beach, L.A., and New York City.

This is one of the less common gold pieces of art created by de Lamerie. This is housed at the Gilbert Collection in London, England.

Here are a number of stories about finding abandoned stuff:

This is a lithograph of Gwernaylod House in Overton-on-Dee, Wales (1829)

## Prop1 Class 6 – The Bundle of Sticks

Posted by on Sep 5, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

Today we will address everyone’s favorite property metaphor–the Bundle of Sticks.

The lecture notes are here, and the livechat is here.

Here is an article from 1970 discussing the case of State v. Shack.

Mr. Tedesco, the owner of the farm, said to a reporter who accompanied Shack and Tejeras, “I’ll smash you for this, I’m  going to get you for this. This is my property. You can’t come in here looking around.” Another farmer told the reporter, “Even President Nixon” would not be allowed in. Another farmer said that the farmers would resort to violence to repel those trying to help the workers, likening it to the violence that resulted from the civil rights movement. He said “This violence is going to snowball.” According to the Times, he said that “either Hitler or Stalin would have known how to deal with the migratory farm workers in the camp he maintains.” The TImes reports that the farmers were using the trespass laws to keep the migrant workers isolated, by not allowing them to travel from camp to camp–all wages and living conditions were kept secret. This was a “chilling” weapon to maintain tight control. On the camp, the only flush toilet “was a privy that was crawling with flies.” Seven men slept in one room, and the beds had no sheets or mattress covers. Shack was at the camp to investigate a report that a 19-year-old worker had suffered a cut on his hand while working, unable to receive wages. Tejeras went to camp to pick up 36-year-old migrant who face was slashed, had to be returned to hospital to have stitches removed. The workers made roughly \$9 a week for work. A family of twelve slept in one small room with bed space for 8. The camps seldom had running water.

This appears to have been a test-case of sorts, seeing they brought a NY Times reporter with them.

And this is Richard Epstein.

## Prop1 Class 5 – Property in Yourself

Posted by on Sep 3, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

Today we will discuss how you can own property in yourself.

The lecture notes are here, and the live chat is here. Here is a recent article about the rights of publicity of college football players.

First, we’ll do the case of Vanna White v. Samsung Electronic America.

The dissental was authored by Judge Kozinski, a colorable character on the 9th Circuit.

Here is the image of robot Vanna White. Alas neither of these predictions of the year 2012 came true (well played, Mayans).

## Prop1 Class 4: The Capture Rule: Oil and Gas, Acquisition by Creation

Posted by on Aug 29, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

Today we will finish the rule of capture, with a discussion on oil and gas, and other “fugitives.” Then, we move onto acquisiton by creation. Be creative.

And, in case you were wondering, the name of the fox will be “Ferae.” (pronounced furry).

The lecture notes are here. The livechat is here.

## Oil & Gas

Here are some pics illustrating slant drilling. One of which may be from a cartoon.

## International News Service v. Associated Press

The International News Service was owned by the famous publisher and Yellow Journalist William Randolph Hearst.

The majority opinion was written by Justice Mahlon Pitney. He was Christopher Reeve’s (Superman!) great-grandfather. He was a pretty non-noteworthy justice.

The author of the dissent, Justice Brandeis, was a big deal.

## Cheney Brothers v. Doris Silk Corp

This opinion was authored by 2nd Circuit Judge Learned Hand, the greatest judge never to sit on the Supreme Court. Yes that was his name, Learned Hand. Actually his full name is Billings Learned Hand, but in college he started going by Learned. Learned’s cousin, Augustus, was also on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.

Here is an awesome video of Hand signing.

## Prop1 Class 3: Law and Judges

Posted by on Aug 27, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

Today will be a slightly different class. We will cover Pierson v. Post, and the Case of the Spelunceuan Explorers. The focus of our class will be law and judges. Though the less will begin around the rule of capture, I hope the discussion eludes that narrow focus, and that we have a foxy talk.

The lecture notes are here, and the live chat is here.

## Pierson v. Post

A few historical notes notes.

First, about the judges. Daniel Tompkins wrote the majority. He went on to serve as Governor of New York and Vice President for James Monroe. He also servedAnd where did Tompkins die? In a neighborhood of Staten Island, now known as Tompkinsville.

The author of the dissent was Brokholst Livingston, who later received a recess appointment to the Supreme Court from President Jefferson. He would be confirmed in 1807, and serve until his death in 1823. Livingston served a a secretary to future Chief Justice of the United States John Jay in Spain from 1779-1782.

Here is a map showing Post’s home in 1800 (courtesy of Professor Angela Fernandez of the University of Toronto).

Here are some drawings of fox hunts:

Here is a video about the controversy of the fox hunt in the UK:

## The Case of the Speluncean Explorers

After you read “The case of the Speluncean Explorers,” please vote which Justice you agree with most.

This is a picture of Lon Fuller, the author of the Case of the Speluncean Explorers.

A lot of authors have tried to write additional version of this article, but they are nowhere near as good as the original.

By the way, for you musical fans, the case of Commonwealth v. Valjean is based, of course, on Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables (Les Miz as you may know it). Jean Valjean steals a loaf of bread to feed himself and his starving sister and neice. He is arrested, and spends 19 years as a “slave to the law.” The movie version of this musical was atrocious. The singing made me cringe. If you can ever see it on Broadway, you should. It is a fantastic parable of law, morality, and ethics.

Valjean and Javert sing about the crime in “Look Down” (starts at 2:29)

JAVERT: Now bring me prisoner 24601, Your time is up, And your parole’s begun, You know what that means.

VALJEAN: Yes, it means I’m free.

JAVERT: No! It means you get, Your yellow ticket-of-leave, You are a thief

VALJEAN: I stole a loaf of bread.

JAVERT: You robbed a house.

VALJEAN: I broke a window pane. My sister’s child was close to death, And we were starving.

JAVERT: You will starve again, Unless you learn the meaning of the law.

VALJEAN: I know the meaning of those 19 years, A slave . . .  of the law

## Prop1 Class 2 – Efficiency and Fairness

Posted by on Aug 22, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

Today in class we will be talking about Ghen v. Rich and Keeble v. Hickeringill, through the lens of economic efficiency and fairness.

Today’s lecture notes are here. Today’s live chat is here.

## Ghen v. Rich.

Here is the harvesting of a finback whale.

Fin whales are on average about 90 feet long, and can weigh over 70 tons. By point of comparison, an African elephant weighs roughly 8 tons.

This is a bomb lance harpoon.

And a patent diagram of an 1878 bomb lance:

Another patent diagram from 1879.

More pics of bomb lances. It was basically a harpoon with a rocket attached to it.

This is a bomb lance gun.

Here is a drawing from 1897 showing the firing of a bomb lance (Frank T. Bullen, The Cruise of the Cachalot (1897)

This is what a captured whale looks like:

## Keeble v. Hickeringill

Here is Edmund Hickeringill (courtesy of the British Musuem)–doesn’t he just look like a jerk!?

This is Lord Chief Justice John Holt who was the Lord Chief Justice of England, the author of the opinion in Keeble v. Hickeringill.

Here is a plan for the duck decoy.

The ducks get caught in these nets over the pipes.

Here is a dutch video showing the ducks getting cut (fast forward to about 1:05)

I suspect many of you have tried this kind of duck hunting.

## Coase Theorem

To illustrate the Coase Theorem, we will utilize the classic example of the Fountainbleau Hotel in Miami.

Or this related case from Dallas:

The Nasher contends that the developers of the \$200 million tower, completed in January, have been intransigent in refusing to modify its reflective glass skin; the Nasher has proposed louvers for the facade.

Museum officials say the garden has had to be resodded twice because of the higher temperatures created by sunlight bouncing off the glass; that some trees have burned; and that light-blocking panels were needed for the roof during a recent Ken Price sculpture retrospective.

Images courtesy of dukeminier-property.com, Wikipedia, and Professor Frank Buckley.

## Prop1 Class 1 – From Nature to Commons

Posted by on Aug 20, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

Hello everyone and welcome to Property I.

Today we will cover property rights created through discovery or conquest with the case of Johnson v. M’Intosh.

During class, I will type in real time the lecture notes on this document.

In addition, I encourage each of you to post comments to our live-chat. You can use your real name or a madeup name if you prefer.

This is Chief Justice John Marshall (very nice sideburns):

This is John Locke (he resembles Mr. Burns, if he had hair). Here is a link to Chapter V of Second Treatise on Government. Chapter V focuses on property. Chapter XVI focuses on “Conquest.”

This is Hugo Grotius (has a Shakespeare thing going for him–he was Dutch):

This is Samuel Pufendorf (nice wig):

Here is a map of the land at issue in Johnson.

This is Harold Demsetz:

This is Ronald Coase. He is 100!

## Welcome to Property I (Fall 2013)

Posted by on Jul 31, 2013 in Property I - Fall 2013 | 0 comments

Hello everyone. Welcome to Property I. You can view the course homepage here. The syllabus is here.

The first assignment is:

### Class 1 – 8/20/13

#### From Nature to Commons

• Johnson v. M’Inotsh, 3-10
• Notes and Questions, 10-18
• Toward a Theory of Property Rights, 39-46

See you in class on Tuesday.