acquisition by capture

Real Estate Agent with Perry Wellington Realty

Acquisition by Capture


Pierson v. Post p. 19

Pierson chases the fox for hours and then post comes and takes it

Majority ruled that the fox was not yet his

Dissent stated that we need to respect practices and customs of fox hunting

We want people to hunt foxes – need to provide an incentive

Hot pursuit gives the person a right to carry it to completion


Ghen v. Rich p. 26

Whales killed of the coast – custom says it belongs to the whaler

Court rules that custom should be followed – same as the dissent in Pierson

Ghen wins the profit, not the total proceeds – incentive for anyone to salvage whales

Admiralty usually provides incentives for the salvager – splits the value


Keeble v. Hickeringill p. 31

Man comes on land to shoot at ducks and scare them away

Not his possession yet but they were on his land

Court decides it on trade theory – no unfair competition

Could be that it is the actors bad intent or that his actions don’t benefit society


Ratione soli – Owner of the land has constructive possession of animals on his land

Ferae Naturae – wild animals move from one location to another

Was originally applied to oil and gas rights

Unitization – owned the oil and gas as a collective if 2/3rds of land owners concurred

This achieved the maximum yield – no race to exploit



Why are property rights the way they are?

  1. Power – people have property rights through power

  2. Human Nature – humans are territorial in nature – this is what we do

  3. Invisible hand – arrangements that exist are a result of invisible forces – optimal results

Most property is privately held – not communally

Private ownership gives a more efficient return on property rights

Why have property rights?

  1. Makes control of the resources transferable

  2. Buyer gives value to the property

  3. Moves to the property manager who creates the most value


Riparian rights – lands adjacent to the water have a right to use it

Disputes over water rights in the west led to first appropriation system

First one there has the rights, second has rights after him and so on.

Problem is proving who is there first – water documentation boards


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