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The Law of Property



I. DEFINITION. The term PROPERTY includes almost every right the law will protect, except life and liberty.

The above is a legal concept of property viewed as rights.

Common usage of the term property refers to the thing or object subject to the right.



1. Real Property land or things permanently attached to land.


2. Personal Property things that are tangible and moveable claims and debts (choses in action) are referred to as intangible personal property.


3. Fixtures Personal property which becomes a part of real property and cannot be removed without impairing the utility of the real property.


4. Expanding concepts of property.


(a) gas, water, and electricity


(b) sound and image recordings


(c) computer programs


III. OWNERSHIP. Absolute ownership is having all possible existing rights in and over a thing. Does it exist?

1. Various rights exist for property.

(a) legal ownership title

(b) equitable ownership use

(c) government interests taxation

police powers

eminent domain

(d) Creditor interests use as collateral legal proceedings to levy, attach and sell to satisfy debt fraudulent transfers

(f) Public interests Property cannot be used that unreasonably causes danger to the public or interferes with public or private rights (nuisance)

(g) Marital interests Community property and common law property.


IV. TITLE. Four basic ways to acquire title to property:


1. Possession

(a) original

(b) creation copyrights & patents, includes art, computer programs and other forms of intellectual property.

(c) Lost, mislaid and abandoned.


2. Transfer

Purchase or sale




3. Accession


4. Confusion


(a) Fungible goods one unit may not be distinguished from another and goods are usually sold by weight or measure.


V. BAILMENTS. A bailment is an agreement whereby possession of personal property is surrendered by the owner (or custodian) with the provision for its return at a later time.





Elements: 1. retention of title by bailor


2. possession and temporary control by bailee


3. ultimate possession to revert to bailor


4. personal property


Type of Bailment Degree of Care Rationale


1. Benefit of Bailor

2. Benefit of Bailee

3. Mutual Benefit