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Taught by Peter C. DiCola
School Northwestern University School of Law
Semester(s) taught
Required texts
Supplementary materials
Related course(s)


Justifications for allocation of property[edit]

Acquisition through first possession[edit]

Wild Animals (Pierson v. Post); Oil and Gas (Elliff v. Texxon Drilling Co.) Supplement: Abstracts of Bethany Berger, It's Not About the Fox: The Untold Story of Pierson v. Post, 55 Duke L. J. 1089 (2006) & Andrea McDowell, Legal Fictions in Pierson v. Post, Mich. L. Rev. (2007); Hardin, The Tragedy of the Commons; Acheson, The Lobstermen of Maine

Acquisition by Labor and Investment[edit]

Singer 32-45, 1087-1089, 1093-1095, 1128-1129 (International News Service v. Associated Press, Trademark, Copyright, and Patent Law)

Acquisition by Governmental Fiat & Arguments from Distributive Justice[edit]

Indian land (Johnson v. M'Intosh), government grants, freed slaves Supplement: Roe, Backlash, Franiere & Wines, Africa Quandary; Cunningham & Piore, My Fair Monkey

Limiting the Right to Exclude[edit]

Limits on Property Owners' Rights to Exclude[edit]

103-116, 118-120, 124-130: State v. Shack, Desnick v. ABC, Spirit Murdering the Messenger, The Intelligent Bayesian; Civil Rights Acts

Constitutional Limits on Rights to Exclude?[edit]

Lloyd Corp v. Tanner, Beach access Supplement: Articles on Beach Access

Loss by Continuous Theft I: Adverse Possession[edit]

Brown v. Gobble, Nome 2000 v. Fagerstrom Supplement: Adverse Possession Supplement--Laville & Freemantle articles

Loss by Continuous Theft II.: Prescriptive Easements & Encroachment[edit]

Community Feed Store v. Northeastern Culvert Corp.

Nuisance and Other Judicial Limits on Land Use in the Absence of Agreement[edit]

Surface Water and Support[edit]

Armstrong v. Francis Corp., Friendswood Development v. Smith-Southwest Industries

Nuisance I[edit]

Page County Appliance Center v. Honeywell

Nuisance II, Coase II and Law and Economics Analysis[edit]

Fontainebleu Hotel Corp. v. Forty-Five Twenty Five Supplement: Jolls, Sunstein & Thaler, A Behavioral Approach to Law and Economics

Nuisance III: Light & Air Revisited[edit]

Prah v. Maretti

Servitudes: Regulation of Land Use by Private Agreement[edit]

Easements I (affirmative servitudes)[edit]

Finn v. Williams (Easement by Necessity), Green v. Lupo (In Gross or Appurtenant)

Easements II[edit]

Scope and Apportionment (Cox v. Glenbrook), Easements in Gross (Henley v. Continental Cablevision)

Covenants I (negative servitudes)[edit]

Creation by direct agreement, (Davidson Bros. v. Katz, Whitinsville Plaza v. Kotseas); Supplement: Covenant Table (This may help to keep the different requirements straight as you are reading the materials)

Covenants II: Implied Reciprocal Covenants and Homeowners Associations[edit]

Evans v. Pollock, Review of Restrictions (O'Buck v. Cottonwood Village, Neuman v. Grandview) Supplement: Homeowner Associations Rule the Roost

Covenants III. Racially restrictive covenants and devises[edit]

Shelly v. Kramer, Evans v. Abney

Temporal Limitations on Property Rights[edit]

Estates system and future interests[edit]

The Estates System: Wood v. Board County Commissioners of Fremont County, Edwards v. Bradley, Cy Pres and Rule Against Creation of New Estates

Rule Against Perpetuities[edit]

Rule Against Perpetuities (Central Delaware county authority v. Greyhound Corp., Texaco Refining & Marketing v. Samowitz)

Prohibition on Waste, Racial Restrictions, and Restraints on Marriage[edit]

Prohibition of Waste (Moore v. Phillips), Racial Restrictions, Restraints on marriage (Lewis v. Searles) Supplement: Questions on Rule Against Perpetuities Optional Supplement: Estate of Moore (Fairly straightforward recent case putting together restraint on marriage, rule against perpetuities, and construction of wills)

Shared Ownership of Property: Family Ownership; Landlord-Tenant[edit]

Common Ownership & Marital Rights in Property[edit]

Common Ownership (Olivas v. Olivas, Carr v. Deking, Tehnet v. Boswell, Kresha v. Kresha), Sawada v. Endo, Marital Breakup (O'Brien v. O'Brien)

Landlord Tenant: Regulating the Market for Shelter[edit]

Landlord's remedies, Self-Help v. Judicial Process (Vasquez v. Glassboro)

Supplement: Landlord Tenant Statute. Find the provisions concerning what constitutes a tenancy, and when a landlord may seek to terminate a tenancy, and what must a landlord do to terminate a tenancy.

Duty to mitigate, Constructive Eviction, Summary Process[edit]

Summary process, right to receive rent, duty to mitigate (Somer v. Kridel)

Right to Quiet Enjoyment/Constructive Eviction (Blackett v. Olanoff)

Find the provisions from the landlord tenant statute concerning summary process, good cause eviction, and duty to mitigate. How does the summary process statute change the regular timelines for judicial process? When may it be invoked? When may a landlord seek to evict a tenant? Does the law ever require "good cause" eviction?

Implied Warranty of Habitability, Tort liability of landlord[edit]

Javins v. First National Realty

Supplement: Steven Gunn, Eviction Defense for Poor Tenants: Costly Compassion or Justice Served?

Transferring Property Rights: Real Estate Transactions[edit]

Structure of the Real Estate Transaction, Fraudulent Non-Disclosure[edit]

Johnson v. Davis

Terms of the Deed; Chain of Title; Fraudulent & Forged Deeds[edit]

Sabo v. Horvath, Zurstrassen v. Stonier, McCoy v. Love


Supplement on Mortgages

Zoning: Governmental Regulation of Land Use[edit]

Power to Zone and Exemptions from Zoning Law[edit]

Prior Non-Conforming Use (Town of Belleville v. Parrillo's, Inc.), Variances (Westwood Commons), and Vested Rights (Stone v. City of Wilton). Supplement: Westwood Commons

Challenges to exclusionary zoning & the Fair Housing Act[edit]

FHA, Huntington Branch, NAACP v. Huntington, Village of Belle Terre v. Borras; Note on Moore v. City of East Cleveland.

Supplement: Announcement of Zoning Enforcement in the West End

Takings: Governmental Power over Property, Constitutional Protection Against Governmental Power[edit]

Defining the Taking I: What purposes?[edit]

Kelo v. City of New London

Defining the Taking II: Regulatory Takings and the Ad Hoc Test[edit]

Miller v. Schoene, Penn Central v. NYC

Defining the Taking III: Physical Invasions[edit]

Physical Invasions (Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins, Loretto v. CATV)

Defining the Taking IV. Regulatory deprivation[edit]

Deprivation of Economically Viable Use (Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council; Palazollo; Tahoe Sierra)

Defining the Taking V. Forfeiture & Exactions[edit]

Dolan v. City of Tigard