I. First Possession: Acquisition of Property by:
Popov - P and D are at a baseball game. Barry Bonds was about to hit the ball and hit a record breaking homerun. In the process of catching the ball Popov was attacked by the crowd and didn’t get the ball and Hayashi picked up the ball and pocketed it.
1. General Rule :
the “sighting” or “finding” of unknown or uncharted land territory; it is frequently accompanied by landing and the symbolic taking of possession. Must settle in and make an effective occupation. ( Johnson - Indians were the rightful occupants of the land on which they lived but they did not have title to the land nor the right to convey title. Title was derived from the federal government or from one of the states or colonies has priority over an earlier purported grant from an Indian tribe.)
- the taking of enemy territory through force, followed by formal annexation of the defeated territory by the conqueror.
B. Capture of Wild Animals
the mere fact that one has spotted and chased an animal is not sufficient to constitute possession. ( Pierson - P found and chased fox as part of a hunt; D stepped in, killed the fox, and carried it away. Court held that “mere pursuit” gave P no legal right to the fox, and that D thus had the right to interfere. EXCEPTION
2. Trapping or Wounding
- one who mortally wounds an animal or fish, so that capture is almost certain, is deemed to have possession. The catching of an animal or a fish in a trap is sufficient.
- a practice that by its common adoption and long, unvarying habit has come to have the force of law. “customs” and “usages” prevail in the activity or trade involved. ( Glen - Ct. applied this usage, and granted the company which killed the whale recovery against D, who bought whale at auction from person who found it on the beach.)
- a person may not maliciously prevent another from capturing wild animals in the pursuit of his trade. ( Keeble - P claimed he set decoys in his own pond to lure ducks in order to hunt them, and D fired gun nearby to drive ducks away. Ct. held P entitled to recovery b/c D’s act was a violent and malicious interference w/ P’s livelihood. Ct. also noted that if ducks had been lured away from P’s pond by D’s use of the same type of decoys for his own business, P would not have been entitled to recover.)
- a social or monetary consequence or side effect of one’s economic activity, causing another to benefit without paying or to suffer without compensation.
1. Copycats General Rule
- If you create something if in a sense you are first in time then that something is certainly yours to exploit because the foundation of proprietary rights is the expenditure of labor and money.