Spring 99; Prof. Peterson
I. ACQUISITION BY FIND
A) Prior possession => the prior possessor is favored over subsequent possessors (Armorie v.Delamirie; chimney sweep’s title to jewel prevailed over goldsmith)B) Title is relative => true owner depends on who claimants are.C) Finder v. property owner• non-trespass and Otrue owner =>in Hannah v. Peel, finder won despite jewel being on ’s
property. He wasn’t trespassing, and clearly wasn’t the true owner. Owning the whole
property wasn’t enough to give constructive possession of the broach.• public shop (re dropped item in shop, finder has better title than shopkeeper).• things attached to/under the land => land owner has constructive title over ownerI
I. ADVERSE POSSESSIONA.G
1.Can only get was O has (if adversely possess a life estate, just get a life estate)2.Title
to date of original entry (once s/l runs, O can’t sue for back rent fromtime it was running)3.Justifications for the doctrine
promotes efficient use of land
improvement of dilapidated buildings in urban areas
gen’l justification for s/l (settled expectations of possessor)
”.1.Actual entry and exclusive possession =>
• physical possession; entry starts s/l running• only the land actually occupied can be claimed (unless color of title)• use the land in a way that O would (eg for a summer cottage, only need to occupy in thesummer; for a sand pit, just use it as a pit).
2.Open and notorious =>
• actions must be such that would inform a reasonably attentive owner that someone wasusing the land. Doesn’t have to be actual notice.
3.Adversity => must not be permissive use
=> don’t care @ state of mind of A. Only care that A’s actionsappeared objectively to indicate A was taking possessionb)
=> supposedly minority view, but it plays a role even in objective jurisdictions. Must be
subjective intent to claim the land.
• good faith required => A had good faith belief land was hers• good faith ok but not required; just look for intent.• Lack of good faith => I knew it wasn’t mine, but I’m taking it anyway.
4.Continuity => continuous for statutory period
a)Effect of O’s reentry
• to disrupt continuity, O must interrupt in such a way that A knows O is asserting claim(open and obvious reentry)• Can interrupt continuity, but courts are concerned about notice to A1