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By Jeff Amato Professor Zinman I. Wild Animals A. Acquiring Title to Wild Animals Ferae Naturae – Animals in the wild become the property of captor. Public Policy promoted the killing of wild animals, encouraging hunters to establish control by killing 1. Methods of Acquiring Title a. Actual, Physical Capture b. Mortal Wounding and Continued pursuit c. Trapping and securing, rendering escape impossible 1) Young v. Hitchens (escape was possible through hole in net). Law will not protect hunters who have not produced certainty of actual possession. 2) Leisner v. waine (impossible escape of a fox found to be possession of the hunter who gave
the mortal wound.)
3) Interference by a non-competitor is inconsistent with public policy Keeble v. d. e. f. Protection of 3rd party hunters reasonable expectations 2. New York State Law – State has the title to all wild animals, except those legally held in private ownership. The state cannot be held liable however. B. Natural Resources are generally treated as Wild Animals (Natural gas) C. Lost Possession Exclusive ownership of wild animals ends when the animal regains its natural liberty, when it escapes restraints and can provide for himself and thrive in its new environment.
Mullet v. Bradley (Sea lion escapes in the Atlantic Ocean.) Kickeringill (Defendant liable for scaring away fowl by shooting intentionally to scare them away.) Custom may change rules above Ghen v. Rich (slain whale.) Ownership by virtue that you own the soil McKee v Gratz (Mussels)
1. Exceptions a. Animal is extremely out of place. (Elephant on Union) Defendant is on notice that the animal has escaped. b. Animus Revertendi, domesticated animals, considered lost property Stephens & co. v. Albers (fox breeders fox killed after it was lost, had to be returned to owner) Public policy valuing domesticated animals. Lost property, not wild animal. Unable to regain natural liberty b/c domesticated. Conti v. Aspca (Chester) D. Control of Animals – Owners are absolutely liable for the damage their animals inflict. Liability remains until another asserts ownership. E. Rights of Trespassers v. Owner of Land – Normally the owner of land owns everything including wild animals. Trespassers who kill wild animals do not get title. 1. Exceptions a. License b. Custom c. Free flowing water (not enclosed ponds) Douglaston Manor v. Bahrakis d. McKee v. Gratz (Owner of land entitled to mussels but not the profits from them.)
a. Samples v. Eliminates distinction of lost and mislaid goods and gives title to the finder after the statute of limitations has run. Bailee must show that they did not neglect or circumstances were not in his control i. c. safe deposit companies. lost and found.) Intent Custody Control 1. Minerals in the ground are the owner of the land e. the higher the value. unless by express agreement. Damaged or lost bailed good results in the presumption of negligence d. but not to the mistaken or unknown goods inside. e. Thereafter the true owner loses title and finder assumes full rights. they must know the existence of the item. Abandoned property goes to the finder g. payment for bailment also raises the level of care. Exceptions include instruments. then the burden is put back on the bailor to prove this was not so. Involuntary Bailment – Must show some sign of dominion or no bailment arises. Bailee accepts property as well as those items reasonably expected to be in them.) b. the owner of the land is entitled d. a. Cowen v. Treasure trove goes to the finders because it was intentionally put there f. Contractual Bailments – All elements of bailment present. Negotiable instruments will never go to finder. Theft. Non-Contractual Bailment – element is lacking. Employees who are working for the owner of the land. therefore there is no presumption of negligence. . Mistaken Value no excuse Peet v. Roth Hotel (taking ring believed to be less valuable. Duty of Finder – If a finder asserts dominion over a lost object they become a gratuitous bailee for the true owner 3. Unconscious Bailment – Bailee must have the intent to physically control the item. liable only for ordinary negligence. Types of Possession A.) i. then lost. Strict liability for misdelivery – Liability implied by misdelivery. New York’s Finder’s Law – Goods of $20 or more.e. Trespasser – the owner of the locus prevails c. Hawkesworth. Geary (Unnoticed fur piece inside coat does not create bailment. employees. Bailments – The rightful possession of goods by someone (bailee) other then the true owner (bailor. Public Places 1) Lost Property goes to finder 2) Mislaid Property goes to owner of locus McAvoy v. held to a lesser liability. 1. B.) f. Exceptions a. Owners of property who have possession of property. they will give them a receipt and hold property for three months to three years. Ordinary care under the circumstances b. b.2. No contract arises. the higher the care. 2.e. Medina (Lost pocket book in shop) 2. Finders – A finder has superior rights to everyone but the true owner Bridges v. only liable for negligent misdelivery of the item. Finder must give item to police in 10 days. Standard of reasonable ordinary care. Presspich (Wrong bond delivered.
D. i. owner acts to eject adverse possessor 5. Notorious and Open – It must not be secretive. though never possessing. Hunting land. bailee liable for negligence. Bradshaw Also adverse possessors can bring actions against another trespasser 2. Bailment lots – Attendant keeps the key and asserts control over the car. abandoning premises b.c. the statute runs anew. Constructive Possession – Where there is no adverse possession. and never has control. Tacking is allowed as long as it is conveyed to the next possessor with privity. Actual Possession a. intruder renders it non-exclusive c. it is not added on to new trespassers. however. Adverse Possession – acquiring title by possessing when the statute of limitations expires. Actual Exclusive Notorious and Open Continuous Hostile 1. Motors Insurance Co. Licensee lots – The owner of the car keeps the keys. a. American Garages (car stolen from garage) c. Other relationships such as Licensor and lessor are not bailments. Possession in fact that would give the owner an action of ejectment. Hotels – Under New York Law. therefore are liable for theft but not for possession of contraband. Brumagim v. fire. only a license to use space b. Exculpation clauses are valid except 1) Prohibited by statute 2) Unconscionable.e. may maintain an action of trespass. one who has title to the land. Exclusive Possession – Fences. explosion. Continuous – Once a break occurs. or other acts of excluding others 3. liability is limited. the garage is held to a reasonable standard of care. v. State v. Allowed to charge a higher rate for a higher liability upon request. duty of care varies with the value. when a safe is provided. adhesion 3) Ambiguous language 4) Strictly read by court C. 3. neighbors must be able to know about it 4. Hostile . d. therefore barring recovery by original owner.000 caused by theft. if it is not then they are absolutely liable for the belongings of their guests. The acts can be consistent with the type of land. New York Statute – Allowed to limit liability to $25. hedges. Anonymous bailment – No bailment created. Employees have only “custody” not possession of a good. Signs to the contrary are invalid d. Question of fact for the jury b. Schingen (delivery of kegs) e. Parking Lots a. build hunting shack. 4. c.
e. Title – Adverse possessor gets title to land of what he has occupied after satisfying these elements. Multiplicity of suits d. possess part 2) Must be one lot. d. Constructive Adverse Possession – Entry onto land with deed. 3 year extension for infancy. Usually cultivated or improved b. Actions for damages 1) Majority View Sue on Own – Zimmerman v Shreeve (defendant cut trees down on plaintiffs land. he gets the life estate.a. Life Estate Possessors a. If statute runs. their life estate goes to the remainder. life tenant cannot sue on behalf of the remainderman) Because the life . Defense of Jus Tertii(someone has better title than you) a. Possessors Rights 1. Wrongdoer should not go free c. Landlord tenant – The statute only begins to run if tenant makes it clear to landlord that they are possessing land without lease or payment of rent. no permission. none for imprisonment or insanity III.is hostile b. held. not separate lots 3) Must be unoccupied. Mistake. Remedies of Possessors A. Actions to recover possession – jus tertii defense is not allowed.) B. possession of whole property outlined on deed – exceptions 1) Must occupy.is hostile c. finder may bring an action 3. Adverse possessor enters on to life estate. and the statute must start all over again for the adverse possessors. Wrong doer should not pay twice 2. Relativity of Title 1. Adverse possessor enters with the rights of the owner at the time the statute begins to run i. If owner is absent. a. Actions for trover. 7. Disability – Extensions on the statute of limitations may be made for disability at the time of entrance of the adverse possessor. Protected by substantial enclosure c. replevin – jus tertii is not a valid defense Armory v. true owner cannot lose title to his portion. b. Precatory – No intention to take title. just use the land without getting ownership. NY Law 10 year statute a. Principles – people should sue on their own unless there are prevailing considerations to the contrary. c. Tenants in common – Statute begins to run if one tenant ousts or excludes another.e. Permission – No hostile possession 6. Knowledge of hostile possession.no hostile d. Plaintiff must only show prior possession b. a. Delamirie (chimney sweeper find jewelry and jewelry store steals the stone. b. or incarceration. action for trover allowed because finder has greater rights then all but true owner. Finders have greater title then all but true owner 2. People should sue on there own unless to prevent the following. when the true owner dies.
the owner can bring a suit on their own. O prevails because 1. they are liable to the bailor c. 3) New York Statute Allowed to sue on behalf of the remainders interest as long as all parties have been joined or an effort has been made to join. Purchasers Rights 1.tenant is not responsible to the remainderman for damages that are not their fault. Carbon Coal Co. B is not a merchant entrusted by O 2. then the court will appropriate damages. rather they are bound by the acts of the agent. The possessor hold the amount recovered as trustee for owners. Possessors cannot get damages to permanent property without title. Louis Railroad v Cobb(Railroads continuing trespass allows for recovery of permanent damages) 4. Company (Plaintiff sought to insure a car that was evidently stolen. Compelling circumstances allow recovery for permanent damages Illinois & St. cannot insure items that are not owned) 2. and could only recover for damages to the possession. A gives the painting to B a deli employee. Damages are hard to calculate. example. C would prevail over O. Iowa Auto Mutual Ins. 2) Minority View Sue B/C wrongdoer will go free – Rogers v. Wertz (O entrusts a painting to A an art dealer. Bailments a. General Rule.True owner has better right then anyone. Liable to the bailor – if the bailee recovers. Bailor cannot recover from the third party. a merchant. Involuntary bailments – recovery by bailor from the third party may be allowed to prevent injustice. Lasalle County c. v. 2) Merchant in the goods of that type and. b. 3. representing that he owns the painting sells it to C.(Plaintiff recovered damages to both life estate and inheritance. Atlantic Gulf & Pacific Co. 3) Purchased by a good faith bona fide purchaser b. B is . Statutory Estoppel UCC – True owner can only bring action against the merchant. The Winkfield (ship is sunk and is allowed to recover for the bailment of piece of mail on the ship at the time event though the bailor is unknown) d. The seller can transfer no better title then the one he has Hessen v. for examination. not the bona fide purchaser 1) ORIGINAL OWNER must convey possession to a. Rights against third parties – A bailee is entitled to full damages resulting from wrongdoing by a third party. Exceptions a. Rights/title relate back to when they first entered b. But since C bought it from B. not permanent damages. C. Critique limits the amount the remainderman can recover to whatever the possessor did. Sanitary district Adverse possessor did not establish title. Adverse Possessors a. Criticism The wrongdoer may escape liability if the remainder is unborn or cannot sue. dropping off jewelry to be fixed. If C had purchased from A. Equitable Estoppel 1) The owner givers the merchant apparent authority 2) Bona fide purchaser Porter v. The third party cannot assert the jus tertii defense.
Gifts in contemplation of marriage. Wills – are revocable by gifting before death 2. delay causing prejudice. Symbolic delivery – delivery of another object representing the gift is valid. Gruen. Evidentiary requirement 1. it is invalid. a. Causa Mortis – gift in contemplation of death a. can make a will e. Causa Mortis – gift upon contemplation of death 3. however. Delivery unavailable or impracticable – type of goods. the gift is revoked unlike an inter vivos gift which cannot be revoked by a will. f. Testamentary substitute. Intent C. Revocable at any time. The sale was not made in the ordinary course of B’s Business because B did not deal in paintings. Constructive – may be valid if evidentiary support is available a. Upon the recovery of the donor c. delivery to someone that you are living with 4. 5. Delivery – actions short of delivery may be sufficient. IRREVOCABLE 2.e.not an art merchant 3. full delivery is not necessary because the donee is only receiving an intangible title Gruen v. Actions for breach of wedding promise are not allowed in NY.e. It must be intended. Gifts must be in sole contemplation of marriage. Statutes of Limitations Adverse Possession 1) Discovery rule (NJ) – the statute does not run until discovery or by the exercise of due diligence should have Okeeffe v. Delivery to third party – delivery to a third party is valid and creates a bailment . if wife breaks promise then the gift is revocable. i. if a will is made after the causa mortis gift. Causa mortis b. Snyder 2) Demand Rule (NY) – statute does not run until the true owner demands return of the item and refuses. c. Gifts of future interests – A donor may reserve a future interest in the gift. Laches defense – equitable relief to the diligent and not the tardy. b. Definition – A gift is a voluntary transfer of property without any consideration. Upon death of donee d. delivered and accepted. marriage gift will not be revoked if husband breaks promise. Inter vivos gift – a gift made during the donor’s life when they are not under threat of impending death. REVOCABLE b. If a will is made before the gift. Conditional – If donor made the condition they are not allowed to break it. Intent Delivery Acceptance 1. without will safegaurds. Gifts A. i. B. Guggenheim v. 6. Lubell IV. Actions to recover the gifts are available.
acceptance is implied until the gift is repudiated. Residue (Payable on Death) Totten Trust a. . NY Statute – specifically labeled a convenience account. the survivor is entitled to the whole account. 3. The depositor uses the bank account as they please during their life and if anything remains the donee takes 2. The gift takes affect immediately upon delivery until repudiation. Convenience (Power of attorney) The donee has no right to the money in the account only has the power to administer the money. Default (Joint and Survivor) a. Person who makes a deposit makes an immediate gift of one half. E. they are only allowed one half. c.D. b. Acceptance – if gift is vested with intent and delivery. as long as it is a valid gift. Bank Accounts 1. Upon the death of either. 4. During lifetime. when the donor dies the donee has no rights to the account. moiety. Totten Trusts 5.