Property II (Spring 2013) – Syllabus

Property II

Josh Blackman
Spring 2013
Email: [email protected]
Course Homepage:
Office: Room 623



Welcome to Property II. We will be using the Dukeminier, Krier, Alexander, Schill, Property (7th ed.) casebook. In this class, we will cover Adverse Possession, Land Transactions, Title Assurance, the Law of Nuisance, the Law of Servitudes, Zoning, and Takings and Eminent Domain. Class will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.


Your final grade will be based entirely on your performance on a three-hour in-class examination. We will hold a review session on the last day of class.

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.

You can view my exams from Property II during the Fall 2012 semester here. The sample exam from last semester is here and the class where we went over it is here.

Attendance and Class Participation:

Please consult the South Texas College of Law Student Handbook’s section on Attendance and Class Participation (pp. 70-71). I will not keep track of your attendance. You will be responsible for keeping track of your own class attendance.


Office Hours

I will hold office hours on Tuesdays and Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and at other times by request. Prior to coming to office hours, please send me an email ([email protected]) in advance, including the time you wish to come, and a short summary of your question (no more than 100 words) so I will ready and prepared for your visit.



I expect that all students will be prepared to engage in our discussions during each session. During class, I will leave open a live chat (known as a backchannel) on the course blog, that will allow you to interact with your colleagues, and with me at the podium, in real time. The livechat will be projected on the screen, so everyone, with or without a laptop, will be able to follow along.

Outside of class, there will be several channels available to interact with me and your colleagues.

First, you can reach me via email at [email protected]. My responsiveness to your emails is directly related to how much effort you put into your question before contacting me. General musings will be met with a similar reply. Thoughtful questions will be met with thoughtful answers. Do your due diligence before asking me.

I will rely on the course blog to post all announcements and materials for class. You will be responsible for checking the course blog prior to class. You can add comments directly to the posts to engage in discussions with your classmates, and with me. On the class blog, to avoid adding to your Google footprint, please sign comments with just your first name and last initial.

You can receive updates about new posts by following the class on Twitter (, liking it on Facebook (, subscribing to it via RSS (,  or signing up for a daily email digest of all new posts ( I would recommend that you sign up for the daily emails.


The course calendar is available at

I encourage you to review the classes from my Property II class last semester. You can also click on the links in last semester’s syllabus to jump directly to a specific class. The videos and notes may be helpful when preparing for class.


New Topic: Chapter 2 – Adverse Possession

Class 1 – 1/15/13

Adverse Possession: The Theory and Elements
  • Introductory Notes, 116-122
  • Van Valkenburgh v. Lutz, 122-134
  • Color of Title, 134-136
  • Manillo v. Gorski, 136-141


Class 2 – 1/17/13

Mechanics of Adverse Possession: Tacking and Adverse Possession of Chattels
  • Howard v. Kunto, 142-149
  • Adverse Possession against the Government, 150
  • O’Keeffe v. Snyder, 151-163


New Topic: Chapter 7 – The Land Transaction


Class 3 – 1/22/13

Introduction to the Sales Contract
  • Introduction, 529-530
  • Licari v. Blackwelder, 530-540
The Contract of Sale I
  • The Statute of Frauds: Hickey v. Green, 542-548
  • Marketable Title: Lohmeyer v. Bower, 547-553


Class 4 – 1/24/13

The Contract of Sale II
  • Duty to Disclose Defects:
    • Stambovsky v. Ackley, 553-557 (Boo!)
    • Johnson v. Davis, 557-563
  • Merger, 563-564


Class 5 – 1/29/13

The Contract of Sale III
  • Implied Warranty of Quality: Lempke v. Dagenais, 564-573
  • Remedies for Breach of the Sales Contract:
    • Jones v. Lee, 573-577
    • Kutzin v. Pimi, 577-588
Deeds & Warranties of Title I


Class 6 – 1/31/13

Deeds & Warranties of Title II
  • Brown v. Lober, 591-594
  • Frimberger v. Anzellotti, 594-599
Delivery of Deeds
  • Introduction, 605-606
  • Sweeney v. Sweeney (Sweeney^2?), 606-610
  • Rosengrant v. Rosengrant (Rosengrant^2?), 610-615


Class 7 – 2/5/12



New Topic: Chapter 8 – Title Assurance

Class 8 – 2/7/13

The Recording Systems
  • Introduction, 645-647
  • Indexes, 647-651
    • Luthi v. Evans, 651-661
    • Orr v. Byers, 661-665
  • Types of Recording Acts, 667-669
    • Messersmith v. Smith, 670-675
  • Texas Recording Act


Class 9 – 2/12/13

Chain of Title
  • Board of Education of Minn. v. Hughes, 677-680
Persons Protected
  • Daniels v. Anderson, 686-688
  • Lewis v. Superior Court, 689-693
Being on Notice to Inquire
  • Harper v. Paradise, 693-697
  • Waldorff Insurance v. Eglin National Bank, 697-702
Marketable Title
  • Notes, 702-704 (skim)

New Topic: Chapter 9 – Nuisance

Class 10 – 2/14/13 <3

Title Insurance


Nuisance and Remedies
  • Morgan v. High Penn Oil Co., 731-739
  • Estancias Dallas Corp v. Schultz, 739-743
  • Boomer v. Atlantic Cement Co., 743-750 (skim)
  • Spur Industries v. Del E. Webb, 750-755
  • Nuisance Law and Environmental Controls, 759-760 (skim)


New Topic: Chapter 10 – The Law of Servitudes


Class 11 – 2/19/13

Easements I
  • Background, 763-768
  • Creation of Easements: Willard v. First Church of Christ, 768-773
  • Licenses: Holbrook v. Taylor, 773-779
  • Van Sandt v. Royster, 779-785


Class 12 – 2/21/13

Easements II
  • Implied Easements: Othen v. Rosier, 785-792
  • Easements by Necessity & Prescription: 792-793
  • Easements by Prescription: 794-800
  • Raleigh Avenue Beach Assn. v. Atlantis Beach Club, 800-812


Class 13 – 2/26/13


Easements III
  • Assignability of Easements: Miller v. Lutheran Conference & Camp Association, 812-820
  • Scope of Right Acquired: Brown v. Voss, 820-831
  • Termination of Easements: Presault v. United States, 831-842
  • Negative Easements: 842-845 (skim)


Class 14 – 2/28/13

Covenants I
  • Introduction, 846-853
  • Equitable Servitudes: Tulk v. Moxhay, 854-859
  • Creation of the Covenants: Sanborn v. McLean, 859-862
  • Validity of the Covenant: Neponsit Property Owners Assoc. v. Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank, 864-876


Class 15 – 3/5/13

Covenants II
  • Discriminatory Covenants: Shelley v. Kraemer, 876-889
  • Termination of Covenants:
    • Western Land v. Truskolaski, 882-887
    • Rick v. West, 887-891
    • Pocono Springs Civic Association v. MacKenzie, 891-896
  • Common Interest Communities:
    • Introduction, 896-900 (skim)
    • Nahrstedt v. Lakeside Village Condominium Association, 900-913 (skim)


New Topic: Chapter 11 – Zoning


Class 16 – 3/7/13

Zoning I
  • Introduction, 925-929
  • Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co., 930-940
  • Enabling Authority: 941-942
  • The “comprehensive plan”: 942-944
  • The economics of zoning: 944-945


Class 17 – 3/19/13

Zoning II
  • Nonconforming uses: Pennsylvania NW Distributors v. Zoning Hearing Board, 945-955
  • Variances and Special Exceptions: Commons v. Westwood Zoning Board of Adjustments, 955-959
  • Special Exceptions: Cope v. Inhabitants of the Town of Brunswick, 959-962
  • Zoning Amendments: State v. City of Rochester, 962-969


Class 18 – 3/21/13

Zoning III
  • Aesthetic Regulations:
    • State ex rel Stoyanoff v. Berkeley, 968-978
    • Anderson v. Issaquah, 978-989
    • City of Ladue v. Gilleo, 989-1000


Class 19 – 3/26/13


Zoning IV
  • Protection of religious uses: Guru Nanak Sikh Society of Yuba County v. County of Sutter 1001-111
  • Controls on Household Composition: Village of Belle Terre v. Boraas, 1019-1029


Class 20 – 3/28/13


Zoning V
  • City of Edmonds v. Oxford House, 1029-1034
  • Exclusionary Zoning: Southern Burlington County NAACP v. Township of Mt. Laurel, 1037-1060


Class 21 – 4/2/13

(Lack of) Zoning in Houston & Public Choice



New Topic: Chapter 12 – Takings and Eminent Domain


Class 22 – 4/4/12

Eminent Domain


Class 23 – 4/9/13

Categorical Regulatory Takings
  • Loretto v. Teleprompter Manhattan CATV Corp., 1082-1096
  • Hadacheck v. Sebastian, 1096-11003


Class 24 – 4/11/13

Regulatory Takings: Balancing I
  • Pennsylvania Coal v. Mahon, 1103-1110
  • Penn Central Transportation Company v. City of New York, 1113-1131


Class 25 – 4/16/13


Regulatory Takings: Balancing II

Special Guest Lecture: Justice Brett Busby, 14th Court of Appeals

  • Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council, 1131-1152
  • Palazzolo v. Rhode Island, 1152-1158 (Skim)
  • Severance v. Patterson (Texas Supreme Court, 2012)


Class 26 – 4/18/13

Regulatory Takings: Balancing III

  • Tahoe-Sierra v. Tahoe Regional Planning Authority, 1158-1166
  • Nollan v. California Coastal Commission,1170-1178
  • Dolan v. City of Tigard, 1178-1187


Class 27 – 4/23/13

Final Exam Review session

Class 28 – 4/25/13

Class cancelled


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