1. introduction: the power of legislature to allocate wealth


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Overview of Chapter 2 people claiming rights to same piece of land; how to resolve claims?

1) Starting point  Who has the deed? If you have deed, then you have the right to exclude

2) Adverse possession  Where there is a conflict in deeds, the ultimate evidence is who actually has been occupying land.

3) Nuisance  where deeds are clear, but one neighbor's activity damages another. Must

resolve conflict between different uses by looking to the character of the neighborhood

4) Easements

1. claim there is a special relationship between lands

2. carve out a small property right on adjoining lands

5) Condition  carve out right over time.

A. Adverse Possession

  • Adverse possession = If private individual takes land for required statutory period of time, person will become owner of title through adverse possession

    • Basic notion that if you have been in possession of land since some determined date in the past you are then the rightful possessor though not the true owner (assize novel disseisin)

  • Purpose = to resolve evidentiary problems of property ownership.

    • Should use title to determine ownership, but since paper record not always reliable the determination is made by who is currently occupying land

  • Adverse Possession serves a useful purpose in 2 contexts:

  1. You are occupying your house and for some reason your deed is gone (i.e. records burned) = only way to show title is to show you’ve been in possession

  2. More often used to resolve boundary line disputes where there was a mistake in delineating boundaries and there is no dispute for years and later someone challenges it = use adverse possession to show you have title

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