Property Law

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Lecture 20 Outline of Previous Lecture I. Haugan Current Lecture II. Review Property Law: Takings Stuff: 5th Amendment No person shall be . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. Cases Kelo v. City of New London Facts: City of New London is blighted. To develop the place economically and improve everybody’s quality of life the City of New London makes an economic development plan. They want to take pieces of property with low value, purchase them, and resell to private developers to help with making the city overall better. Kelo doesn’t want to let New London take the property with just compensation. SCOTUS hears the case. Kelo’s Argument in a Nutshell: because private intermediaries get the property the property is not being taken for public use . property rights of the owners = really important New London’s Argument in a Nutshell: The economic development is for the broader public. Public benefit = Public Use SCOTUS: New London prevails. Key concepts: meaning of public use Property rights of owners vs. social welfare Goldstein v. NY Urban Development Corporation (Brooklyn – Barclays Center Case) Facts: Goldstein lived in Brooklyn. Not a particularly blighted area. In Brooklyn not Connecticut. Otherwise facts are the same as Kelo. Key concepts: Public use, property rights of owners vs. social welfare Econ 4040 1st Edition Pennsylvania Coal v. Mahon Facts: Regulators (Kohler act) say you can’t mine coal. Coal mine-right holder sues. Says completely devaluing the property is a taking Holmes: Agrees with the argument because it amounted to a complete wipeout of the value of the property. Total diminution or elimination of the value of the property interest. Total diminution in value because mine rights are separated from the rest of the property rights. Under state law, mining rights are a separate estate, or grouping of rights. Holmes uses this state law. Keystone v. DeBenedictis Facts: Very similar to the Penn case except here the law didn’t say that the interests in mining were a separate property interest from the surface area. Statute that looked like Kohler Act (See Penn) sustained b/c statute was designed to protect public and diminution in value was not as much b/c subsurface interests were not separate interests. NO conceptual severance Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council Beach Access Case, 100% diminution of value when coastal council eliminates owner’s access to the beach Scalia’s Rule here: A regulation that deprives owner of all economically beneficial use is a per se taking unless the restriction could have been achieved through the common law of nuisance. Contract Law: Key principles: Promote efficient exchange; not all exchange requires a contact (ex. contemporaneous exchange), but promises that may induce reliance should be enforceable as contracts Should not be enforced when: Some “funny” or negative circumstances surrounding the signing Incapacity Fraud Duress Mistake (outside of buyer’s regret) (i.e Sherwood cow) Unconscionability (i.e Walker-Thomas, etc.)

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