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Chapter 27: Personal Propertyand Bailments
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Learning Objectives
Whatis real property? What is personal property?What is the difference between a joint tenancy and a tenancy in common?What are the three elements necessary for an effective gift?What are the three elements of a bailment?What are the basic rights and duties of a bailee? Of a bailor?
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Introduction
Propertyconsists of legally protected rights and interests a person has in anything with an ascertainable value that is subject to ownership.
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Introduction
Property is divided into real and personal property.Real propertyincludes land everything permanently attached to it.Personal propertyis both tangible and intangible.
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Property Ownership
Introduction. Property ownership is viewed as a “bundle of rights”, including the:Right to possess.Right to sell.Right to give.Right to lease.Right to destroy.
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Property Ownership
Fee Simple.Owns the entire “bundle of rights”.Gives the owner the maximum possible estate or right of ownership of real property, continuing forever.Chapter 28 will deal with realty estates.
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Concurrent Ownership.Tenancy in Common:Aand B own an undivided interest in the property. Upon B’s death interest passes to B’s heir, “C”.
A
B
C
Property Ownership
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Concurrent Ownership.Joint Tenancy: A and B own an undivided interest in property but, upon B’s death, B’s interest passes to A, the surviving joint tenant.
Property Ownership
A
B
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Property Ownership
Concurrent Ownership.CommunityProperty(limited # of states)Property acquired by couple during their marriage is owned as an undivided ½ interest in property (real and personal).
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Personal property can be acquired through:Possession.Production.Gift.Will or Inheritance.Accession.Confusion.
Acquiring Ownershipof Personal Property
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Possession:Captureof wild animals (wild animals belong to no one).Finding of abandoned property.Adverse Possession.
Acquiring Ownershipof Personal Property
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Production:Writers, inventors, manufacturers, and others who produce personal property acquire title to it.
Acquiring Ownershipof Personal Property
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Gifts.Voluntarytransfer of property ownership from Donor (owner) to Donee (recipient) for no consideration. Three elements:Donative Intent: based on circumstances, or relationship between the parties.CASE 27.1 Goodman v. Atwood (2011).What factors indicated capacity?
Acquiring Ownershipof Personal Property
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Gifts.Three elements:Delivery—actual or “constructive” (symbolic, such as keys to car).Donor must give up complete control or dominion. Delivery by a 3rdparty is OK.CASE 27.2In Re Estate of Piper (1984).Why was the gift ineffective?
Acquiring Ownershipof Personal Property
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Gifts.Three elements:Acceptance.GiftsIntervivos andGiftsCausa Mortis.Intervivos:while the donor is living.Causa Mortis:while the donor is living but made with an expectation of imminent death. Gift is revocable if the donor lives.
Acquiring Ownershipof Personal Property
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Acquiring Ownershipof Personal Property
Accession.Some value added to another’s personal property by use of either labor or materials.With owner’s consent.Without owner’s consent.
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Acquiring Ownershipof Personal Property
Confusion.Commingling so that a person’s personal property cannot be distinguished from another’s.Fungible goods consists of identical particles such as oil or grain.
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Mislaid, Lost,and Abandoned Property
Mislaid Property:Voluntarilyplaced somewhere, then inadvertently forgotten. Finder is caretaker for true owner.
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Mislaid, Lost,and Abandoned Property
Lost Property:Involuntarilyleft. Property owner acquires title against whole world, except for true owner.Conversion of Lost Property: finder may be liable.Estray Statutes.
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Mislaid, Lost,and Abandoned Property
Abandoned Property: Discarded by true owner with no intention of recovering. Acquires title against all the world, including the original owner.Trespassers: no title.Treasure Trove: Title against all world except true owner.
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Bailments
A bailment is formed by the delivery of personal property, without transfer of title, by one person (Bailor) to another (Bailee), usually under an agreement for a particular purpose.
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Bailments
Differs from sale or gift because property is transferred without passage of title.Elements of a Bailment:(1) personal property, (2) delivery of possession, and (3) agreement to return or dispose of property.
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Bailments
Elements of a Bailment.Personal Property. (Tangible or Intangible--not persons or realty.)Delivery of Possession.Bailee given physical or constructive possession, and knowingly accept.Involuntary Bailments: bailee is responsible to safeguard property for true owner.
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Bailments
Elements of a Bailment.BailmentAgreement.Bailments for less than a year do not require a writing under the Statute of Frauds.Agreement can be express or implied.Agreement provides for return of property to bailor, a third party or disposal by bailee.
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Bailments
Ordinary Bailments.Bailment for theSole Benefit of the Bailor(Gratuitous Bailment): Bailee owes Bailor a low duty of care, liable only for gross negligence.Bailment for theSole Benefit of the Bailee: Bailee owes Bailor a high duty of care and is liable for even slight negligence.
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MutualBenefit Bailment (most common): Each party owes the other areasonable duty ofcare.
Bailments
Bailor’s Sole Benefit
Mutual Benefit
Bailee’s Sole Benefit
Slight Care Reasonable Care Great Care
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Bailments
Ordinary Bailments.Rights of the Bailee.Right of Possession.Right to Use Bailed Property.Right to Compensation:gratuitous bailment, bailee’s lien.Right to Limit Liability.
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Bailments
Ordinary Bailments.Duties of the Bailee.Duty of Care.Duty to Return Bailed Property.Bailee may be liable for breach of contract, conversion and/or negligence.CASE 27.3 LaPlace v. Briere (2009).In your view, was the bailee negligent?
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Bailments
Ordinary Bailments.Duties of the Bailor.Bailor’s Duty to Reveal Defects.Mutual Benefit Bailment: bailor must notify bailee of all known defects and hidden defects the bailor knew about or could have discovered with reasonable inspection.Warranty Liability for Defective Goods.
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Bailments
Special Types of Bailments.Common Carriers.Publicly licensed to provide transportation services to general public.Common Carriers arestrictly liablefor damages, unless damages caused by:An act of God.An act of a public enemy.An order of a public authority.
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Bailments
Special Types of Bailments.Common Carriers.Common Carriers are strictly liable unless damages caused by:An act of the shipper.The inherent nature of the goods.Not permitted to contract away their liability, but can limit dollar liability.
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Bailments
Special Types of Bailments.Warehouse Companies.Can issue documents of title.Owe duty of reasonable care.Can’t exculpate, can limit.
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Bailments
Special Types of Bailments.Innkeepers.Owe duty of strict liability, modified by state statutes; if innkeeper provides safe and notifies guests.If parking area provided and innkeeper accepts bailment, then may be liable.
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