Week 11 - AEM 3200 Week 11 Property Rights 1 Lateral and...

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AEM 3200 Week 11 Property Rights 1. Lateral and Subjacent Support a. Right to keep land from collapsing b. Neighbor’s behavior cannot cause injury to land or interfere with use of land i. Violation would be nuisance or trespass ii. Example: your foundation shifts and cracks as a result of a neighbor’s interference. You have a cause of action (such as trespass) for recovery. c. No tunneling or mining underneath. d. No excavation along boundaries. 2. Access to Sunlight /Fresh air a. No common law right b. Common law rules were modified because of energy needs – solar energy collectors i. Judicial Adoption (Wisconsin) ii. Solar Easement (New York) -> pay your neighbor not to block solar collector iii. Status -> particularly zoning law. Example is California Law that says you can't plant a new tree that blocks an existing solar collector 3. Water rights a. In the Eastern United States there are different rules that apply to different types of water. Many of these disputes are resolved before landowners decide to pay lawyers and go to court. Therefore there is not a lot of case law. i. Riparian Rights (eastern United States) 1. These rights apply to people whose property is adjacent to a body of water. It is a right to use the water that is adjacent; however, it is not an absolute right and maybe subject to some restrictions. If a person owns all of the land that surrounds the water, they will control all of the water use. 2. If someone owns one side of the river, all riparian owners have the right to reasonable use, but these rights must all be balanced. Reasonable uses depend on circumstances but generally include such things as household use, (moderate)
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AEM 3200 Week 11 Property Rights agricultural use, etc., and cannot be interfered with by someone else's right of access. 3. The right to clean water is now covered by statues because of pollution laws and other environmental restrictions. The laws set level of quality and also the extent to which polluters will be responsible. ii. Surface water rights 1. Property owners have an absolute right to use whatever surface water is on their property 2. The issue that usually arises is drainage of excess surface water. The courts will look at the attempts to move the water off the property and whether it is reasonable in light of negative effects on other landowners. Often a balancing process. iii. Ground water rights 1. There is a right to water under property but it is hard to tell where the water is coming from. Most issues involve pollution so most disputes are now governed by statutes. b. Western United States i. Prior Use Doctrine 1. Since water is scarcer out west, ownership/ access to water becomes more of an issue. When the west was first settled, water rights were given on a first come first serve basis.
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