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LEGL 2700 Test 2
I am literally the smartest girl in the world
Terms in this set (146)
Legal right to exclude others from resources that were originally possessed, acquired without force, theft, or fraud
Absolute but not infinite
Boundaries can be ambiguous
Foundation of the free market
Property is central to society's achievement of prosperity
Establishes conditions for capital formation
Makes resources easily divisible
Two divisions of property
Real property: land and interests in land
Personal property: all movable resources
the owner of air rights can occupy or use the air over your land.
Land ownership consists of more than just the surface of the property
the owner owns the rocks and minerals under their land, they can sell the land
you cannot dam up water like a stream in your backyard unless you buy the water rights
Fixtures on Land
things part of the land. if you can take it with you then it isn't a fixture.
the porch is a fixture, not the porch swing.
When you sell a house, you're allowed to take your carpet, shed, tree house, plants, chandelier, etc.
Types of ownership:
represents the maximum estate allowed under law
Fee simple absolute: involves no limitations or conditions attached
Fee simple defeasible: there are strings attached. May have a condition attached to its transfer
Types of ownership:
grants ownership in land for the lifetime of a specified person
Types of ownership:
property rights granted to tenants by a landlord
Types of ownership:
more than one person can own the same property. Ownership is undivided, no one person owns a certain part
ex) you share a room, you both share all parts of it, NOT splitting it in half
Tenancy in common (TIC): you can own different shares (60/40 for example, you can also have more than two people, 20/20/20/20/20)
Joint tenancy (JTWROS): Joint tenants with rights of survivorship. Two people split it 50/50. If one person dies, the survivor gets 100% ownership
Specialty Applications of Property: Easements
Easements: right to cross over land. Right to get access to someone's property. Easiest way is to buy an easement. The owner still owns it but you have a right to traverse it.
Easement by reservation
you sell your farm but keep the right to be able to fish in the pond
you have to give people a way to access their property (they can drive through your land to get to theirs)
a rule (ex. They cant build a high rise house and block your beach view)
Easement by prescription:
1 person uses another's land by wrongfully, continuously crossing it, eventually they have a right to traverse your property
the utility company can access the power lines, pipes, etc on the property
goods are placed into another's possession to be returned in the future. The act of delivering a good to a bailee for a particular purpose. They have to return it to you or dispose of it how the bailor specifies.
Bailor: owner of the object
Bailee: Possessor of the object
Mutual benefit: renting a car. Bailor gets money, bailee gets a car
Bailor benefit: I park my car in your garage to keep it safe
Bailee benefit: My laptop is broken so I borrow yours
Acquiring Resources Through Exchange:
Contract Rules: Control the way owners make agreements to exchange resources in the property-based legal system
Allow owners to commit legally to future exchange of resources
Enable an owner to sue another if agreements in the future are broken by one of the owners
Acquiring resources through possession:
Rule of First Possession: first person to find previously unowned things becomes their owner
Lost Items & Mislaid Items
Lost Items vs Mislaid Items
Lost: personal property UNINTENTIONALLY left by the owner. The first person to find lost property gets it. (you drop $20, someone behind you picks it up, its theirs) finders keepers
Mislaid: personal property INTENTIONALLY set down by the owner, but forgotten. You are going to go back for it (you set down your wallet at a restaurant to pay. You leave your wallet on the table by accident. The premises owner gets it, so the restaurant gets it)
provides ownership of someone else's land under state statute when your possession is:
- Open and notorious
- Actual and exclusive
- Wrongful!! You don't have permission to be there
For a prescribed period of time
All of the above must apply. If you want to acquire the property, you have to file an adverse possession claim. (this is squatters rights)
Happens most of the time where people aren't sure of their property line, on large acres of farmland or hunting ground, also in the suburbs. If you plant a tree on your neighbor's property, you can eventually claim adverse possession.
Does Not work on government property.
Acquiring Resources Through Confusion
Occurs when fungible/ identical goods are mixed together
Ex. you grow cotton and your neighbor grows cotton and you don't know which plants are yours.
Owners hold a proportional share of the confused goods if the confusion occurs by honest mistake
Doctrine of confusion illustrates importance of boundaries to the concept of property
Dishonest: The innocent person gets all the property. (Ex. you have cows and your neighbor has cows. You want some of their cows so you take the fence down so your cattle are mixed. The court will give ALL of the cattle to the neighbor
Acquiring Resources Through Accession
Accession: something that is added
Law of Accession: When people apply efforts into any raw materials and change its nature into finished products, they own the finished products
Ex. you buy raw wood from Lowe's and make a cabinet. You own the cabinet
Ex. you buy an airplane engine and build a plane around it. You own the plane. If you steal the engine, the rightful owner gets the plane. If you thought it was free and abandoned, you keep the plane but pay the owner for the engine.
Acquiring Resources Through Gift
the donor MUST
- Intends to make the gift
- Delivers the gift by physical transfer to the donee (for land/ houses, deliver the deed or a key)
Testamentary gift: made through a will
Title and Property Registration
Title: ownership represented by a physical document registered with the state for certain resources
Deed: document of title that transfers ownership of land
2 protections of your deed: the type of deed and the registration statutes in your state
Registration statutes: gives notice of what is up with the land.
Types of Deeds
1. Warranty deed: if something is wrong with the history of the land, the seller will warranty it
2. Special warranty deed: the seller says there are no problems and if there are history problems, it's on you to figure out
3. Quitclaim deed: no guarantee about the land is made except that the seller is selling their claim to the land
Security Interests in Land: Mortgage
2 parties: mortgagor and mortgagee. The mortgagor promises to pay a certain amount each month.
Mortgages are "secured" loans. With a secured loan, the borrower promises collateral to the lender in the event that they stop making payments. The mortgagee is basically the bank that gave you a mortgage, and you are the mortgagor. Technically, the bank or lending institution is the legal owner of your home until you pay off your loan
Security Interests in Land: Deeds of Trust
3 parties: lender, borrower, trustee.
If something happened and the lender/ borrower wants to go to court, Whoever has the deed matters, so in this case the trustee holds on to it.
Security Interests in Land: Recording Statutes
mortgages and deeds of trust must be registered in a recording office. Provide notice of the security interest to potential buyers and lenders of the land
Security Interests in Land: Foreclosure
Creditor must go through the court system to ensure that procedures are properly followed
A foreclosure is a home that's seized and put up for sale by the bank that gave the original owner a loan. When you see a home listed as foreclosed, it means that it's owned by the bank. Every mortgage contract has a lien on your property
Security Interests in Land: Right of Redemption
Allows mortgagor to get back land upon payment of the full amount of the debt
Secured Transactions & Attachment
involves a creditor (a bank probably) who has made a loan to a debtor who agrees to give the creditor a security interest in a collateral
Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code: Set of laws that control security interests
"Attachment" makes the security interest valid. occurs when:
-Secured party holds given value
-Debtor owns the collateral
-Security agreement is provided
Secured Transactions: Perfection
Arises when a security interest is attached and the creditor has taken all proper steps required by article 9.
If I offer my boat as a security interest/ collateral to 4 different banks, whichever bank files the perfection first gets access to the collateral first if I stop making payments.
Financing Statement: Filed to perfect a security interest under Article 9. Security interests for most types of collateral are usually perfected by filing a document known simply as a financing statement.
Artisan's Liens & Mechanic's Liens: line cutters in getting paid
Artisan's Liens: narrow property interest arises when someone contributes ... personal property
If you work at a garage and fix someone's car and they don't pay, the mechanic can hold on to the car and the mechanic gets to get paid first before the person and their bank
Mechanic's Liens: when someone contributes materials or services to real estate and they're not paid.
If you redo someone's kitchen and they don't pay you, you file your notice in the deed's room and you get paid first, then the bank, etc
Nuisance and Zoning
Public nuisance: arises from use of land that causes inconvenience or damage to the public
ex) a factory in the neighborhood is stinky and lets out a lot of steam pollution. It makes the people in the neighborhood not want to go outside, it was dangerous for babies, bad for runners, etc. it was a public nuisance
Private Nuisance: unreasonable use of one's property to cause substantial interference with the use of another's land
Zoning Ordinances: Laws that divide countries into districts designated residential, commercial, or industrial
Enable buyers and sellers to account for future risks or have confidence in exchanging valuables
Contract need not be a formal, written document
Denoted as "K" in the legal world
Contract law enables private agreements to be legally enforceable
Provides flexibility and precision in business dealings
Sources of Contract Law
Contract law comes from either legislation or common law
- UCC: uniform commercial code: the sale of goods is governed by article 2 of the uniform commercial code
for Contracts for goods
- Everything other than the sale of goods
- Judges' decisions
for Contracts for other than goods, Ex. non-disclosure agreements
Classification of Contracts: Bilateral and unilateral contracts
Bilateral and unilateral contracts: based on how the contract is accepted.
Bi is an exchange of a promise for a promise. Bi is more common
Uni is one promise.
Classification of Contracts: Express and implied-in-fact contracts:
based on how the contract is formed
Express: explicit rules laid out clearly.
Implied in fact: formed on the base of conduct, inuitive.
ex) businesses. This man had an idea for a tv show, he pitches his show to NBC and they say they aren't interested. A month later they air the show, the man is entitled to some compensation because this was an implied-in-fact contract
Classification of Contracts: Implied-in-law AKA quasi-contracts:
A legal creation allowing the enforcement of the contract if one party is unjustly at risk more than the other party
Contractual Enforcement Terminology
Unenforceable: party has a justified reason for breaking contract. There is a good defense
Void: illegal contracts are void and unenforceable.
Ex. you hire a hitman and pay $10,000 for them to kill your husband and they just keep your money. You can't sue them for breach of contract
Voidable: president can void a contract? Idk look it up
Executed contract: parties have performed their promises
You promised you will and you did
Executory contract: parties have NOT yet performed their agreement
You promise you will but you haven't started yet
Requirements for an Enforceable Contract
1) Offer to enter into a contract
(Offeror makes an offer to the offeree
2) Valid offer: must reasonably conclude the offer is definite as to its terms so the parties know what they're agreeing to)
3) Acceptance of the offer
4) Consideration for each promise
5) Capacity of each party to enter into a binding agreement
6) Legality of subject matter
UCC: the Uniform Commercial Code
Requires that parties to contracts for the sale of goods must act with both "honesty in intent" and "honesty in fact"
Article 2: Sale of Goods
Article 9: Security Interests
Terminate an offer by the actions of the parties
1. Revocation: the offeror (who made the offer) retracts their offer before the offeree can accept. They say "Nevermind"
2. Rejection: the offeree rejects the offer. They say "No"
3. Counteroffer: the offeree makes a new offer, killing the old offer. It is a rejection + a new offer
4. Lapse of time: the offeree takes too long to respond.
Terminate an offer by the Operation of Law:
1. Subject Matter Destruction: i offer you a car but wreck it, the offer is dead
2. Offeror death or insanity: if the offeror dies or is legally insane, the offer is dead
3. Subject Matter Illegality: if a change in law makes the offer illegal, the offer is dead
ex) you were about to make a deal to buy a bunch of fireworks, the law changes and makes fireworks illegal in the state, the offer is dead
Acceptance of an Offer: mirror image rule
the acceptance must match the offer exactly to create a binding contract. The acceptance must mirror the offer. No omitting or adding any terms
Acceptance of an Offer: UCC Battle of the Forms
changes the mirror image rule for contracts involving the sale of goods. An expression of acceptance is treated as acceptance even if they change a few things about the offer. Not as quick to be considered a counteroffer. Lazy way to make a contract
Gottlieb & Co., Inc. v. Alps South Corporation
(Read Your Entire Contract Before Signing It)
Gotlieb makes prosthetic limbs. Alps buys fabric from gotlieb. Gotlieb changed their fabric material and now Alps's customers are returning the limbs because it is scratchy. Alps sues Gotlieb. Gotlieb had a sneaky clause in the contract that they are not responsible for consequential damage. Alps just didn't read the contract all the way, and the court said Alps should've read it and ruled in favor of Gotlieb
Acceptance of an Offer: Mailbox rule
acceptance becomes legally binding when the offeree dispatches the acceptance (in the mail, by fax, whatever) and a binding contract is created at this moment. The offeror cannot revoke their offer as soon as the acceptance is in the mailbox.
Contract Consideration (AKA payment)
Accord and Satisfaction- Agreeing to compromise instead of going to court
Prior Consideration- Both parties have "skin in the game", It has to be a bargain for exchange.
Option Contract: offer on the table and you give them time to decide, they need to offer something in exchange for you keeping the offer open. Normally they pay some money to bide their time
Firm Offer: UCC exception, sale of goods only. Rules of consideration don't apply. If the merchant promises to hold goods for a period of time less than 3 months, the buyer does not need to pay anything in exchange. The merchant is in a contract with you and can't sell it to anyone else in that time
You can't make a deal for something you already have to do.
ex) the teacher can't say IF you bring her coffee, then she'll teach the class. She is already obligated to teach.
ex) you tell a contractor you'll pay him $6000 to do your floors. He can't try to sue you for more because he started with $6000 as the decided pay.
The doctrine of promissory estoppel states that: a party who reasonably relies on a gratuitous promise can ask a judge to award compensation for that reliance.
Has to be significant detriment
ex) a UGA graduate promises to pay for a chair in the UGA library. UGA builds the chair and then comes to try to get the money from you but you decide you don't want to pay anymore. UGA can sue you for not paying anymore
Capacity of Parties
Cannot be legally bound to contractual promises with exceptions for necessaries of life
Contract is voidable at the election of the minor
ex) kids are stupid so if they make a mistake then you can't take that contract seriously
Capacity of Parties
Intoxicated or mentally incompetent persons
Contracts are voidable depending on the person's capability to understand the contract's nature and purpose
Courts can declare you are mentally incompetant, if they do this then the court will issue an order that takes powers away from them.
They can't get married, buy property, make contracts, etc.
If you make a deal with someone who is practically mentally incompetent, you will look bad in business
Contracts that require commission of a crime or tort or violate accepted standards of behavior are void
Courts typically do not take action on such contracts
ex) if you pay someone $600 to kill your husband and they don't do it, you can't sue
Covenants not to compete
Covenants not to compete: agreement where one party promises not to compete with the other party in a specified area for a certain period of time. A covenant not to compete can be found in an employment contract or a sale of business contract. lawful if reasonable in time limitation and scope, otherwise unlawful.
Defenses to Contract Enforcement. (how a contract gets voided)
If written in improper form when a writing is required
If No true meeting of the minds occured due to fraud (someone lied to the other person) or mistake
Fraud vs. Misrepresentation
Fraud is intentional misstatement of a fact to get someone to join a contract they otherwise would have never agreed to
2 types of fraud
Fraud in execution: void because you were tricked into signing something
Fraud is a tort
Fraud vs. Misrepresentation
Misrepresentation as a defense only allows people to get out of a contract.
Mutual Mistake: either party can rescind the contract
Unilateral Mistake: will not prevent the formation of a contract.
Ex. you thought your guitar was worth $200 so you sell it but it was actually worth $1000. That's your fault because you didn't do your research
forcing someone to sign a contract by threatening them, they don't have a choice.
one person who is old or ill enters a contract. They are taken advantage of by someone who is misusing their position of power over the person
Lawyers are guilty of this sometimes, a lot of old people's kids do this, caregivers
generally as enforceable as written contracts
Everyday examples: buying fast food, vending machines
You say you want a $4 coffee, you are agreeing to pay $4 for your coffee once they make it for you. This is an oral contract
Evidence by writing
It's best to get every contract in writing, just in case
States require the important contracts to be in writing to be fully enforceable to avoid fraud issues. if it's written, you can't act like you were fooled. you knew exactly what you signed
Statute of Frauds:
legal requirement that certain contracts be in writing
Business contracts required in writing:
- Sale of an interest in land
- Collateral promise to pay another's debt
- Long term contracts (1 year+)
- Sale of goods of $500 or more. Only BUYING, not necessary renting
Other contracts based on state statutes
Exceptions to the Writing Requirement
-Part performance: If they've started fulfilling their part of the contract, you can't void the contract
-Rules involving goods
Rules of Interpretation
Pre-printed terms/ forms
Parol Evidence Rule
Prohibits testimony about the oral negotiation that resulted in a written contract
Applies to evidence of oral agreements made at the time of or prior to the written contract
Exception: you can share evidence of an oral agreement that explains the meaning of written terms without changing the terms
Duty of performance: performance required by the other party as promised in the contract
Discharged: occurs when the party is relieved from all further responsibility of performance
Conditions of Performance:
If something must take place in the future, before a party has a duty to perform
Conditions of Performance:
Excuses contractual performance if some future event takes place
Ex. if you don't file an accident claim within a certain amount of days after the accident, your insurance doesn't have to pay
If a war happens, a lot of contracts can be broken
Conditions of Performance:
Parties have a simultaneous duty of performance
Conditions of Performance:
Explicitly mentioned in the contract governing performance
Conditions of Performance:
not explicitly mentioned but can be
ex) buying something from the store is implied conditions
St. Louis Produce Market vs. Hughes
(Condition Precedent Case)
Condition Precedent Case.
Hughes was the property manager for the produce market. He was supposed to get a lump sum of his salary as severance, but on the condition precedent that he returns everything the company gave him. He returns everything but kept the computer they gave him. He sued because the market didn't think they had to pay. The court ruled that the market does not have to pay because he didn't fulfill the condition precedent and so the market doesn't have a duty to perform
Payment, Delivery, Services Tendered in Goods Contracts
Contracting parties must provide a specific order of performance in the contract... delivery or payment first? payment or services tendered first?? etc.
Delivery: Legal term referring to transfer of possession from the seller to the buyer
Tender performance: offer to perform
Gap fillers: the UCC fills in any gaps in sale of goods contracts. Look at old contracts and cases for precedent
Levels of performance
1. Complete performance
If you owe $500 and you pay $500, you have completely performed
2. Substantial performance
Contract is almost filled, more than significant level of performance
3. Material Breach
Performance below what is reasonably expected, you can sue them for not performing
Excuses for Nonperformance:
valid excuses that will protect you from being sued when you breach contract
Excuses for Nonperformance: Impossibility of Performance
Objectively impossible and applies to anyone in your situation
Has to be unexpected
Doesn't count If it's hard, too bad. If it's not as profitable as you thought, too bad. If the weather has been bad, too bad.
Excuses for Nonperformance: Commercial Impracticability
Permits a sale of goods party to be excused from the contract if there are excessively difficult, expensive, or harmful conditions. Unanticipated, normally has to be an act of God.
This is a UCC thing because it is sale of goods
Excuses for Nonperformance: Waiver
About the timing
Forgive and Forget.
A party intentionally relinquishes the right to enforce a contract after the other party breaches contract
Excuses for Nonperformance: Release
A party declares the other party does not have to perform as promised. Happens before any breach of contract happens
East Capitol View Community Development Corp. v. Robinson, 941 A.2d 1036 (D.C. App. 2008)
(Impossibility of Performance Case)
Impossibility of Performance Case
East capitol had hired Robinson and signed a one-year contract. Her employment was contingent on her performing well. They had been getting grants to pay for Robinson's position. This year, east capitol didn't get the grant so they tried to fire her. She sues because they had a one-year contract. East capitol wanted to say that not getting the grant was Impossibility of Performance but the court ruled in Robinson's favor
Remedies for Breach of Contract: Damages
Compensatory damages: Going back in time. puts the party where they would've been if the contract had been fulfilled. Not a lottery, it's an accurate amount
Consequential damages: damages to make up for something that happened BECAUSE of the breach of contract.
Lost profits: if you drive to Atlanta to deliver watermelons and they say they don't want them anymore, so you sell them for cheaper to someone else. The Atlanta company has to pay the lost profit ONLY.
Liquidated Damages: damages expressed in the contract in case of a breach
Remedies for Breach of Contract: Equitable Relief
You don't want money, you want them to do what they were supposed to.
- Specific performance: subject matter is unique. (land, art, a performer, etc)
- Injunction: the court orders you to refrain from doing something. Popular in intellectual property cases.
- Rescission: the cancellation of a contract and returning the parties to a position where they would've been if the contract had never existed in the first place.
ex) asking for the annulment of a marriage
Efficient Breach: the party breaches a contract on purpose because they would rather pay the monetary damages than fulfill the contract.
Third Party's Contract Rights: Beneficiaries
One or more of the original parties to a contract may intend for their agreement to benefit a third party. This party can sue for damages for breach of contract if the contract would've benefited the third party
ex) Rob does work for me, I owe rob money. I do work for Larry, and Larry owes me money. I enter a contract with Larry where Larry straight up pays Rob. Rob is the third party intended credit beneficiary. If Larry doesn't pay rob, rob can sue.
can sue the party who owes them but can not sue the party who made the contract?
Ex. life insurance policy. You enter a life insurance policy on your life for $500,000. I list my sister as the beneficiary if i die. If I die and the company doesn't pay my sister, My sister can sue the life insurance company but can not sue me or my estate.
not intended third party, can not sue, no contract rights. Unintentionally benefits from a contract
Ex. A jewelry store has really good security and a security man that stays in the store 24/7. The stores next to the store incidentally have good security too. The other stores are incidental beneficiaries.
Assignment of Contracts:
the transfer/ sale of rights under a contract
You can have third parties that become involved
Ex. you get something on credit from a store. You are obligated to make payments. The store doesn't want to keep collecting from you every month so they assign someone else to take the payments for them. If the third party finds out this was illegal or something, they can go after the store. They have to tell me that I'm paying someone else.
three or more party contract where the original contracting party agree to relieve the obligor from liability by substituting the assignee in place of this party. They agree to replace.
Ex. you're leasing your apartment and have a contract with your landlord. You go home for summer so you sublease. You take the contract and make a sublease that says the money goes straight to the landlord. The subletter doesn't pay in July, that is your fault because you're the original tenet. Any damages to the apartment are your liability
civil wrong (excluding a breach of contract) committed by a person against another. civil, not criminal. this means you're going to have to pay money instead of going to jail.
If you commit a tort its tortious behavior and you are a tort beiser (or something that sounds like beiser)
3 Categories of Torts:
1. Intentional: deliberate action causes injury
2. Negligent: the failure to use reasonable care causes damage. Carelessness
3. Strict Liability:
Nobody acted intentionally or negligently
doesn't have to be the intent to harm, but you had intent to do something that caused harm
ex) pull someone's chair out from under them and they break their arm, it's your fault because you intended to pull out their chair
Infliction of mental distress
Invasion of privacy
Interference with business relations
Assault & Battery
There's civil assault & battery (they want to sue you for money) and criminal assault & battery (they want you in jail)
Assault: Scaring someone/ immediate apprehension
You running towards someone with a knife is assault
Battery: touching without consent and without justification
You stabbing someone with a knife is battery
You giving a stranger the heimlich maneuver is not battery
If the plaintiff is unaware (asleep/ unconscious), it's still battery.
Sports: not battery if it's not against the rules of the sport. If it's during halftime though, it is battery.
Can words negate assault? YES.
If you tell someone you wish you could punch them but you won't because you're so nice, that's not assault. You said you're not actually going to do it
Harper v. Winston County
(Battery Case/ Summary Judgement)
Sandra Wright fires her employee, Harper, and Harper is yelling because she is upset and she is making a scene. The boss says she touched her arm and guided her back into the office. Harper sues saying assault & battery was committed, saying her boss grabbed her arm and pulled her back inside.
Did trial court err in granting summary judgement in favor of the employer on employee's claim of
Intentional Infliction of Mental Distress
you have to prove someone acted outrageously and caused you mental distress
Battery to the emotions
Extreme and outrageous conduct
ex) calling someone who owes you money all the time even in the middle of the night, you're acting outrageously and it could count as infliction of mental distress
Insomnia, nausea, weight loss, hair loss, etc.
negligent infliction of mental distress:
Ex. school bus driver lets a kid off the bus, the bus driver gets distracted by two kids fighting in the back seat, the driver runs over the kid in front of the kid's mom. This is negligent infliction
Invasion of Privacy
Three types of invasion of personal interest:
1) Misappropriation of name or likeness: appropriating their name for your own gain (acting like you're secretly Jeff Bezos's daughter for clout)
2) Intrusion on physical solitude: getting all up in their business
3) Public disclosure of highly objectionable, private information: disclosing their private info (posting their address on Instagram)
Ehling v. Monmouth-Ocean
(Invasion of Privacy Case)
Registered nurse posted on facebook that a shooter shouldn't have been saved when he was shot by police. Her license was removed because of this post. She sued for invasion of privacy because they got it off her facebook, but it didn't matter because her coworker/ friend nurses were friends with her on facebook
Did the employee demonstrate with evidence that there was an intentional intrusion by the employer of the employee's facebook page?
The intentional, unjustified confinement of a person. kind of like kidnapping/ holding someone hostage?
You can only hold a shoplifter in the back room of your store if you know they stole, and you can only hold them for a reasonable amount of time
Aka false arrest
starting something for no reason
one party has knowingly and with malicious intent initiated baseless litigation against another party.
Going on someone's property, throwing something on someone's property, and chasing someone else onto someone's property is a tort.
If you stay at a restaurant and it closes and they tell you to leave and you don't, you're trespassing
Conversion is a strict liability tort, civil case. (Theft is a crime, criminal case.)
- Using someone's things when you don't have permission
- Keeping the original documents when you're supposed to return it
- Cutting down a tree on your neighbor's property
Someone takes your golf cart and crashes it. The government will sue them criminally, and try to send them to jail. If you want money for your golf cart, you have to sue in a civil case of conversion
A statement that is published, false, injurious, and unprivileged.
Statement: can be written, pictured, spoken, or gestured
Published: a third party experienced the statement
False: has to be an untrue statement. If it's true it is not defamation. If it's an opinion, it is not defamation.
Ex. saying "you're the ugliest person i've ever seen" is not defamation
Slander: oral defamation. Spoken
Libel: written defamation or published over radio or television. Recorded. More harmful, will cost you more money if you get sued
Public officials & figures: "actual malice"
Actual Malice: Evil intent. Deliberate intent to injure, reckless regard for the truth
intentional misrepresentation of a material fact that is justifiably relied upon by someone to his or her injury
Telling someone a lie about something important that causes them to lose money or resources.
"Intentional" you knew or were recklessly indifferent; you intended for the other party to rely on the misrepresentation
"Misrepresentation" false statement
"Material fact" important fact
"Injury" usually a loss of money or resources, or making them enter into a contract they wouldn't have joined.
Interference with Business Relations
Injurious Falsehood: aka trade libel. Malicious publication of falsehood that leads others to act in a manner that causes harm to the person or their property.
Business libel, hurts their business and their marketability
one who has a duty to act reasonably acts carelessly
#1 claim in the U.S. is negligence
1) Duty of care: everyone has the duty to act as a reasonable person
2) Breach of duty: unreasonable behavior
3) Causation in fact: plaintiff has to prove that the defendant caused the injury. "But for" test
"But for" the negligence of the other person, we would not have wrecked
two or more people may be responsible. One person was negligent in a business, but the business should've been prepared for negligent people.
Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad: Landmark case regarding proximate cause
Palsgraf was a woman standing at a train station. A man dropped his suitcase of fireworks and it exploded when the train ran it over. Palgraf sued but eventually lost because it wasn't something the train could've been better prepared for
Res Ipsa Loquitur "The thing speaks for itself"
The fact that a particular injury occurred may itself establish a breach of duty owed
There's no other way this thing could've happened other than a person was negligent
Defenses to Negligence: Contributory negligence
The person being sued for negligence can be found innocent if the plaintiff was at least a little responsible.
If you were sued as a defendant for negligence and you can prove that the plaintiff was at least 1% responsible for what happened, you can win the case and you don't have to give the plaintiff anything. People didn't like this because they weren't winning their negligence cases.
Defenses to Negligence: Pure comparative negligence:
if the plaintiff is 80% responsible for the accident, the plaintiff can recover 20% of the damages they want.
Defenses to Negligence: Partial comparative negligence:
If the plaintiff is 49% or less responsible, they can recover 51% of damages. If the plaintiff is 50% or more responsible, they get nothing. Middle ground of contributory negligence and pure comparative negligence.
Defenses to Negligence: Assumption of risk:
Plaintiff's knowing and willing undertaking of an activity. you were warned
ex) going to a baseball game knowing you could be hit by a baseball, or going skiing on a black diamond slope and they warn you about it
Strict Liability in Tort
Injury causing behavior that is neither intentional nor negligent
ex) Defective products (Product Liability)
Animal attacks (dog bite lawsuits)
Abnormally dangerous activities.
Strict Liability in Tort: 1) Strict Products Liability
Seller who sells a dangerous faulty product that causes injury to a user of the product is strictly liable
- Production Defects: item not created to standards
ex) a bottle-lid machine is off center by a centimeter causing the bottles to crack a little and get glass in the drink. Many items are like this its a production thing
- Design Defects: injury caused due to unsafe design of item
ex) airbag recalls, leaky breast implants
Strict Liability in Tort: 2) Ultrahazardous activity:
inherently dangerous things you do
ex) transporting explosives or poisons. Keeping a lion as a pet, he gets out and attacks a civilian, the owner is liable because he knew he was engaged in ultrahazardous activity. It doesn't matter how many precautions he had in place. It is still a strict liability tort
Strict Liability: Dram Shop Acts
makes a business which sells alcoholic drinks or a host who serves liquor to a drinker who is obviously intoxicated or close to it, strictly liable to anyone injured by the drunken patron or guest
If you're a bartender and you keep serving a drunk person and let them drive home, on the way they hit a pedestrian and kill them, the bartender is responsible for being negligent
compensate plaintiff for injuries suffered
1. Past and future medical expenses (if the plaintiff needs physical therapy, wheelchairs, etc)
2. Past and future economic loss (if the plaintiff can't work anymore, or if they were a stay at home parent and now need a nanny to help care)
3. Past and future pain and suffering (loss of one of the senses, vision, hearing, or even a limb, the plaintiff will definitely get money for that)
(a lawyer said if you're going to hurt someone, it's cheaper to kill them. This is because of damages)
awarded by courts to punish and deter defendants. Controversial
Arise from intentional torts or extreme negligence
Awarded for risky negligent conduct
Juries like to give punitive damages to rich people to show them that their actions have consequences. The courts often reduce the amount due because you have to justify it. Normally punitive damages make the news.
wrongs against society
Criminal law punishes wrongdoers who affect the ownership of property
Federal and state penal codes define criminal acts and omissions
Malum in se
inherently bad. Normally violence like lighting someone on fire, crazy stuff. Drunk driving. Dangerous stuff.
prohibitively bad because the general assembly said it's bad
Ex. speeding, hunting without a license, cheating on your taxes
White Collar Crime:
any illegal offense that occurs in a business or professional setting
Committed to harm the business or for personal gains
Examples: accounting fraud, bribery, conspiracy, forgery, tax evasion, larceny, mail fraud, etc
Classification of Crime: Felonies
punishable by fine or imprisonment in a penitentiary for a period of one year or more
You commit a Felony, then you get an Indictment by a grand jury, then you're fined or sent to jail
ex) murder, rape, burglary, kidnapping and arson.
Classification of Crime: Misdemeanors
punishable by a fine or jail sentence of less than one year
ex) petty theft, prostitution, public intoxication, simple assault, disorderly conduct, trespass, vandalism, reckless driving, indecent exposure, and possession of cannabis for personal use
Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Before a trial for capital or infamous crime, there must be presentment or an indictment by a grand jury
Comprised of 23 citizens
Presumption of innocence: presuming that an indicted person is innocent until found guilty by a petit jury
Serve as an investigative body
Functioning depends upon the secrecy of the proceedings (they try not to ruin people's public reputations)
important element in many laws. If you can prove willful intent then you can put someone away for a crime. If you lack intent, you're negligent.
Deliberate negligence isn't a thing (you can't refuse to know what's going on right in front of you)
Pleas in Criminal Cases
Nolo Contendere "no contest": allows the judge to sentence you as if you plead guilty, but if you're sued for the same thing civilly, you get the chance to be not guilty in that scenario. If you plead guilty in a criminal case, you're guilty for the civil case.
illegal searches and seizures
Protects individuals and corporations from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. Requires the police to obtain a search warrant based on probable cause
What are you searching me FOUR??
Expectation of Privacy (Fourth Amendment)
you have this right for your house, your car, your boat, your phone, etc. if police ask to search your car, it's because they need permission. Dont say yes!
Exceptions to the Fourth Amendment, when they don't need a warrant
- Commercial premises: highly regulated businesses can be searched at any time, like a nursing home or hospital
- Presenting oneself at an airport checkpoint
- Search incident to arrest: if you're arrested, they can search you (your pockets, purse) and they can search the area around you (if you're at a friend's house, they can search their house)
- Exigent circumstances: police can enter without a warrant if it's to protect the destruction of evidence. if the police suspect you're a drug dealer, they knock on your door, they hear you flushing the toilet a bunch, they can barge in.
- Plain view doctrine: if police see something illegal in plain sight, they can search.
Riley v California, 573 U.S. 373 (2014)
(Fourth Amendment Case)
Riley is pulled over for driving with expired tags. They run his license and see he's driving on a suspended license. They're allowed to search him now that he's being arrested. They took his phone and the police look through it and see that he's in a gang. Now he's charged with attempted murder, driving with a gun, etc etc. Riley takes it to court saying that they were allowed to take his phone, but not look through it.
Can the police, without a warrant, search digital information on a cell phone seized from an individual who has been arrested? NO! Cell phones have a higher expectation of privacy than your other belongings.
Fourth amendment/ Expectation of privacy case
Protects the accused from being compelled to testify against self
Does not protect:
- Against being required to produce physical evidence
- A person who is required to produce business records
- Corporations (except for sole proprietorships)
Individuals cannot be tried twice by the same governmental entity for the same crime "Double Jeopardy" but this does not prevent two prosecutions, one in state court and one in federal court, because these are separate entities.
I wouldn't snitch on myself for FIVE million dollars!
5th amendment thing
you have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law, etc.
If you want to invoke your miranda rights/ your right to remain silent and get a lawyer, you have to SAY something like "I'm using my miranda rights." "I won't speak until I see my lawyer" etc
Provides multiple protections that offer the right to:
- Speedy and public trial
- Trial by jury
- Be informed of the charge against oneself
- Confront the accuser
- Subpoena witnesses in your favor
- Have the assistance of an attorney (only for cases where you could go to jail)
The 6th amendment gives you SIX rights ^^^^
Prohibits the federal government from imposing excessive bail, excessive fines, and cruel and unusual punishment
Death penalty should not be applied to anyone who was under 18 years old at the time the crime was committed and to anyone who is mentally handicapped
You can't cut off EIGHT of my toes!
tort, can put you in prison. If you cover something up, make something up, etc this is fraud. You cannot change information in a report, even if your boss tells you to.
Crime: OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE
from the start of an investigation to the conclusion of a trial, you can not delete anything that could be used as evidence. Don't throw anything away
Two or more people come together to plan breaking the law. If you happen to be in the same room as two people conspiring, you have to distance yourself.
unlawful taking of someone's personal property by trespassing, and planning to keep it permanently
ex) stealing someone's bike off their porch, shoplifting
larceny in your dwelling house
larceny by threat or force. Give me your money!
a person is entrusted with another's money/ property and they take it/ lie about where it is. Usually they expect the rich person will never find out.
ex) I work for Deena. I have to pay a bill by today at 10am, it's 9am. I take $200 out of Deena's account to pay my bills. Once I get my paycheck, I put $200 back into Deena's account. This is still embezzlement!! I should've just asked.
Intentional interference with contractual relations:
Intentional interference with contractual relations:
- you had a Valid and existing contract
- the Defendant had knowledge of the contract
- Intentional acts intended to disrupt the contractual relationship
- Actual disruption of the contract
- Resulting damages
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