Watch out for "only if" or "unless" answers. Read them closely

:)


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  • READ THE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS CLOSELY!!!!!!!!!


  • WATCH OUT FOR “ONLY IF” OR “UNLESS” ANSWERS. READ THEM CLOSELY

  • WATCH OUT IF THE CRIME IS “ATTEMPTED …” - THEN INTENT IS NEEDED


CRIMINAL LAW

MURDER

  • Murder: To be guilty of murder, one must unlawfully kill another human being with malice aforethought which may be (i) intent to kill; (ii) intent to inflict great bodily injury; (iii) reckless indifference to an unjustifiably high risk to human life (depraved heart); or (iv) the intent to commit a felony.

  • At common law, the crime of attempted murder requires both a specific intent by the actor to kill the victim and an act that puts the D in close proximity to completing the crime (For MPC, it must be a “substantial step” rather than close proximity).

  • If you intend to kill A but kill B instead, you cannot be guilty of the ATTEMPTED murder of B.

  • If you want to kill A, but shoot at B thinking it is A, and you would C, you are guilty of the attempted murder of B (MBE 1992)

  • You are liable for murder if your act was not only the “but for” cause, but also a natural and foreseeable result – the “proximate” cause.

  • Accidental killing committed during the course of a felony is common law murder.

  • Common law murder is wanton and reckless.

  • No crime if you systematically deprive child of food, don’t call doctor, child would have died from malnutrition in a few months, but child’s cause of death is cancer.
  • Russian roulette is a killing with “abandoned and malignant heart” b/c it exhibits a recklessness indifference to the “very high” risk of death or serious injury.


  • Depraved heart murder - willful and wanton disregard of an unreasonable or unjustifiable human risk.

  • Shooting an automatic weapon into the air in a room full of people is murder because it is conduct involving a substantial or very high degree of risk to human life and is unjustifiable under the circumstances.

  • Involuntary manslaughter is Criminal or gross negligence manslaughter (falling asleep at the wheel) or Misdemeanor manslaughter – killing while committing malum in se misdemeanor or unemunerated felony (not a BARRK felony).

  • Voluntary manslaughter requires passion or provocation

  • Adequate provocation can reduce murder to voluntary manslaughter. Being subjected to a serious battery is adequate provocation, geing hit in the face with an umbrella, or seeing wife in bed with another man and losing control

  • Manslaughter if you kill someone while acting recklessly under an unreasonable apprehension of danger (JULY 1991)

  • Manslaughter least likely to be the underlying felony for felony murder when compared against attempted rape as the underlying felony. (MBE 1992)

  • Spouses/Proprietor-Customer/School-Pupil have a duty to rescue if they learn of the peril. Failure to fulfill that duty knowing it would mean almost certain death is the equivalent of homicide committed with malice.

    OTHER CRIMES

  • Larceny: At common law, larceny is the taking and carrying away of the personal property of another by trespass (i.e. wrongfully) with intent to permanently (or for an unreasonable time) deprive the other of his interest in the property.
  • Larceny occurs if you intend to deal with the property in a way that involves a substantial risk of loss to the owner (e.g. holding on to it until you get a reward).


  • For larceny, pay attention to situations where title is transferred by false representations – this is not larceny.

  • You can pass title to money. Someone tricks you into buying something.

  • Larceny by the use of an innocent agent – when you trick someone to steal something for you

  • Larceny if you steal marijuana from someone (MBE 1992)

  • Can commit larceny by taking property from someone who doesn’t have rightful possession (stealing from a thief)

  • If you find property, and there are sufficient clues to ownership, it is larceny if you keep the property

  • Thinking your conduct is not a crime is not a defense to larceny

  • Larceny by trick: Obtains possession of property by lies and then fraudulently converts it

  • Larceny by Trick: False promise is a crime whereby a person obtains property falsely based on an intentional misrepresentation of present or past fact. (JULY 1991)

  • False Pretenses: By lying, one obtains title along with possession of property

  • False Pretenses is obtaining title to property of another, by intentional false statement of facts (FEB 1991)

  • Embezzlement: illegal conversion of property over which D had lawful possession (Embezzler has lawful possession (not title), AND Illegal conversion). Embezzler does not have to benefit at all

  • Embezzlement: (1) fraudulent, (2) conversion of, (3) the property, (4) of another, (5) by one who is already in lawful possession of it.

  • Pawn shop that sells item before they are allowed to is guilty of embezzlement (MBE 1992)

  • Common law forgery is creating a false document with apparent legal significance with intent to defraud (i.e. a deed, but a forged Thomas Jefferson letter is not forgery since it has no legal significance)


  • Burglary: At common law, burglary is a breaking and entering of the dwelling of another at nighttime with the intent of committing a felony therein.

  • Intoxication is a defense to burglary (MBE 1992)

  • Fraudulently entering a hotel room at night to steal is a constructive breaking and therefore burglary.

  • If you reasonably think you are entering a house you have consent to enter, no burglary (MBE 1992)

  • Use of force or intimidation to gain entry is considered a breaking.

  • Arson: At common law, arson is the malicious burning of the dwelling of another. Must act with the intent or knowledge that the structure will burn, or with the reckless disregard of an obvious risk that the structure would burn.

  • If you want to burn down a building, then inadvertently start a fire, but don’t put it out because you want the building to burn, you are guilty of arson (JULY 1991).

  • On MBE, arson definition usually assumes structure, rather than dwelling.

  • Arson if you burn a building that has a homeless person sleeping inside. (FEB 1991)

  • Solicitation occurs when the defendant, with the intent that another person commit a crime, entices, advises, incites, orders or otherwise seeks specific other person to commit a crime

  • Solicitation merges into attempt
  • Solicitation: solicitor must intend that a criminal offence be committed (can’t be guilty of solicitation of murder if you give someone a gun knowing the gun is unloaded)


  • For a mens rea of malice, you do not have to show intent to injure/kill, just recklessness.

  • Accomplice: At common law, to be convicted as an accomplice, a person generally must have given aid, counsel, or encouragement with the intent to aid or encourage the principal in the commission of the crime charged.

  • Words of encouragement coupled with criminal intent will suffice for accomplice liability (MBE 1992)

  • Mere presence, coupled with silent approval and intent is insufficient for accomplice liability (MBE 1992)

  • When criminal wants poison to kill someone and you give him antibiotic that kills anyway, giving is insufficient for accomplice liability (MBE 1992)

  • Robbery: At common law, robbery consists of (i) a taking (ii) of personal property of another (iii) from the other’s person or presence (iv) by force or intimidation (v) with the intent to permanently deprive him of it.

  • If you robbing a store, and customer comes in and fires gun to stop you but kills clerk, you should be found not guilty of felony murder because you are not responsible for the acts of the customer (JULY 1991)

  • If you are robbing a store, and clerk faints and hurts head and then you run out with no money, you are only guilty of attempted robbery, and not assault or robbery (FEB 1991)

  • Attempt requires the SPECIFIC INTENT to commit the crime.
  • Conspiracy: An agreement between two or more parties to commit a crime Requires 1) Agreement (does not have to be expressed), AND 2) Intent to agree, AND 3) Intent to pursue/achieve unlawful objective (i.e. not unlawful if you conspire to rob your own house)


  • Withdrawal from a conspiracy is an affirmative act where you notify all the members of the conspiracy and is done in time for them to have the opportunity to abandon their plans.

  • Extortion is obtaining property from another by means of threats to physically harm the victim or property.

  • A corporation can be held vicariously liable for the acts of its agents committed in the scope of their employment, including criminal acts.

  • Strict liability crime to employ minors will make supervisor criminally liable because he exercises control over hiring and employ even though he himself is an employee for the company (FEB 1991)

  • Receipt of Stolen Property: D must know that the property is stolen at the time when the property comes into his/her possession.

  • Search warrant directed at a multiple-occupancy structure will ordinarily be held invalid if it describes the premises only by street number or other identification common to all subunits located within the structure. But, if the building in question from its outward appearance would be taken to be a single-occupancy structure and neither the affiant not other investigating officers nor the executing officer knew or had reason to know of the structure’s actual multiple-occupancy character, then the warrant is not defective.

  • For a finder of lost or mislaid property to be guilty of larceny: (1) the finder must, at the time of the finding, intend to steal it, and (2) the finder must either know who the owner is or have reason to believe that he can find out the owner’s identity.
  • “Continuing Trespass”: one who takes another’s property intending only to use it temporarily before restoring it unconditionally to the owner may nevertheless be guilty of larceny if he later changes his mind and decides not to return the property after all.


  • Human Shield Exception: if the felon is using the victim as a human shield and the victim is killed by the police or someone else, then the felon is guilty of felony murder

    DEFENSES

  • Consent of victim does not excuse, mitigate or reduce the level of a criminal homicide.

  • If basis for provocation is reasonable, homicide is mitigated to voluntary manslaughter.

  • If basis for provocation is unreasonable, homicide is NOT mitigated to voluntary manslaughter.

  • Try to challenge a strict liability statute as unconstitutionally vague if it does not apprise a D of which acts are proscribed.

  • Voluntary Intoxication is no defense to strict liability crimes. No defense that negates intent is permitted for strict liability crimes.

  • Voluntary Intoxication is no defense to crimes involving recklessness

  • Voluntary intoxication will never reduce murder to manslaughter but it may reduce a 1st Degree Murder to a 2nd Degree if it negates D’s premeditation, deliberation, or intent to kill.

  • Person acts “knowingly” when he knows his conduct will necessarily or very likely cause such a result.

  • Under M’Naughten, D is entitled to acquittal if the proof establishes that: (a) a disease of the mind; (b) caused a defect of reason; (c) such that the D lacked the ability at the time of his actions to either: (1) know the wrongfulness of his actions; or (2) understand the nature and quality of his actions. E.g. Did not know act was morally wrong. If you are tested on this, it will concern D’s insane delusions – need to determine: if the facts were the way D believed them to be, would they provide D with a valid defense.
  • D’s insane delusions brought on by intoxication may be a defense to murder if you killed because voices told you to kill (MBE 1992)


  • D’s insane delusion that only way to prevent his wife from destroying the world was to kill her is a defense to murder under insanity defense (MBE 1992)

  • Durham rule – act is a product of a mental disease or defect (broader than M’Naughten)

  • MPC: substantial capacity test – whether, as a result of the defect, he lacked the capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct

  • Factual impossibility is not a defense to attempt, but legal impossibility is. If the D does something thinking it’s a crime, but it isn’t, he can’t be charged w/ attempt no matter how culpable he is. (FEB 1991)

  • It is constitutional to eliminate insanity defense or to require D to prove insanity by preponderance of evidence

  • If a statute defines a crime in a way that necessarily involves more than one participant, and it provides for the liability of only one participant, it is presumed that the legislative intent was to immunize the other person from liability as an accomplice.

  • As a valid defense to a general intent crime (i.e. rape, battery, kidnapping, false imprisonment), a mistake of fact must be honestly entertained, be based upon reasonable grounds, and be of such a nature that the conduct would have been lawful and proper if the facts had been as they were reasonably supposed to be.

  • Mistake of law no excuse to larceny.

  • Accessory After the Fact: not subject to accomplice liability and is not guilty of the substantive crime but is guilty of the separate crime of obstruction of justice.

  • Jury can find a person guilty of accessory after the fact if person moved with another to prevent the other’s conviction of a crime. (JULY 1991)

  • Under common law (Majority), deadly force may be used when a person reasonably believes deadly force is about to be used against him (No need to retreat).


  • Self Defense: can use reasonable force when attacked – no duty to retreat. No crime if the reasonable force kills the person (MBE 1992)

  • Provocation: 1. Adequate provocation 2. Heat of passion 3. Lack of opportunity for the passion to cool 4. Causal connection between provocation, passion, and act


CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

  • PO can detain a person as long as he has an articulable and reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.

  • Pat down only if PO reasonably believes that the person may be armed and presently dangerous. PO can reach into D’s clothing and seize any item PO reasonably believes, based on plain feel, is a weapon or contraband.

  • Even if you own the contraband, it can be used against you if it is found on another person after an illegal search of that person.

  • A plea can be vacated if prosecutor withdraws from the plea bargain deal.

  • After Miranda warnings, If D says he’ll talk but won’t put anything in writing until he has a lawyer, oral statements are admissible.

  • Search incident to lawful arrest – can conduct a warrantless search of the entire passenger compartment of car.

  • Automobile exception - can conduct a warrantless search if they have probable cause that car contains contraband or evidence of a crime. Can search any part of car/trunk that could conceivably hold the item(s) sought

  • If warrant based on bad info, items seized will be suppressed if Officer who submitted warrant application knew the statement was false (JULY 1991)
  • A person has an expectation of privacy in his dwelling and the area close to it (the curtilage). An open field is not a protected area, and even a fenced area belonging to the defendant is considered an open field as long as it is not part of the curtilage.


  • Fourth Amendment protects citizens both at home and abroad

  • An officer has a right to arrest one whom she reasonably believes has committed a felony (even by entering the home without a warrant).

  • Quotient verdict (ignoring judge’s instruction to look at liability) is grounds for a new trial

  • Juror testimony (affidavits) cannot be used relating to any matter/statement made during deliberations to the effect of anything on any juror’s mind or emotions or mental processes.

  • A general consent to search a home allows police to even look under carpets that have bulges

  • Sufficient evidence to admit if police saw man drop bag of white powder, run away, and a few minutes later they retrieve the bag after arresting man. (JULY 1991)

  • Confession of co-conspirator inadmissible at your trial unless co-conspiritor testifies and can be cross-examined (JULY 1991)

  • Principal must have probable cause or warrant to search a student’s backpack if principal is acting as an agent for the police (JULY 1991)

  • Right to counsel violated if you have informant elicit info from D who is in custody and awaiting trial, even if informant not interrogating D (JULY 1991)

  • D must raise affirmative defense of entrapment and establish by preponderance of the evidence (JULY 1991)

  • A mentally ill person can waive his Miranda rights so long as there was no police coercion (FEB 1991)
  • The U.S. Supreme Court has held that a warrantless search of an automobile junkyard pursuant to a state statute fell within the warrant exception for pervasively regulated industries even though the purpose of the statute was not merely to aid in the discovery of regulatory violations but also to aid in the discovery of stolen property.


  • Sentencing Guidelines: any fact that increases the penalty beyond the statutory maximum period must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt

  • Grant of “use and derivative use” immunity is sufficient to extinguish the 5th Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.

  • Incompetency to stand trial depends on a defendant’s mental state at the time of the trial and the prosecution bears the burden of proof of competency once the issue has been raised (usually must be proved by a preponderance of the evidence).

  • No constitutional requirement that all known charges be brought in the same prosecution (MBE 1992)


REAL PROPERTY

  • For RAP, if transfer occurs in a will, you look at lives in being at time of death of the testator, not when the will is created.

  • If Life tenant assumes mortgage, life tenant only has to pay mortgage interest. Remainderman pays the mortgage principal (to protect his interest).

  • The life tenant is obligated to pay the ordinary, annual real estate taxes assessed against the property, to the extent that she receives actual or imputed income from the property. If the property is not capable of producing income, the life tenant is not obligated to pay property taxes out of her own pocket.

  • If Life tenant wants to demolish a building on property to build a mall, this is waste (JULY 1991)

  • A tax sale cuts off the rights of remaindermen (so it behooves them to pay if life tenant doesn’t pay)

  • Abstract company is liable if they fail to uncover the existence of an easement in the chain of title.
  • If a remainder is created in a class that could grow (diluting each existing classmember’s share, this remainder is vested subject to partial defeasance.


  • A remainder is a future interest created in a transferee that is capable of becoming a present interest upon the natural termination of the preceding estates created in the same disposition.

  • A contingent remainder is a remainder subject to a condition precedent, or a remainder that is created in favor of unborn or unascertained persons.

  • A vested remainder can only be created in and held by ascertained persons in being and cannot be subject to a condition precedent. Vested remainder can be transmitted by will.

  • A vested remainder subject to divestment arises when the remainderman is in existence and ascertained and his interest is not subject any condition precedent, but his right to possession is subject to being defeated by some condition subsequent.

  • An executory interest is an interest that divests the interests of another transferee

  • A springing use is a form of executory interest (a future interest in a transferee that is not capable of taking on the natural termination of the preceding estate).

  • RAP is violated if an interest can be created more than 21 years after the death of the relevant lives in being (persons alive at the time of the transfer).

  • The Rule Against Perpetuities states: “No interest is good unless it must vest, if at all, not later than 21 years after some life in being at the creation of the interest.”

  • RAP does not apply to options to purchase where the one who holds the option is the current lessee.

  • Water: Absolute ownership doctrine: Entitled to extract as much as you want for any purpose you desire.

  • Water: Reasonable Use doctrine: Any reasonable use for beneficial purposes on the overlaying land that is not malicious or wasteful.
  • If a deed is given for security purposes rather than an outright transfer, this is an equitable mortgage, and foreclosure is necessary before you can sell the property.


  • Judgment lien runs with the land and is binding on subsequent owners who have notice of it.

  • A recorded contract (as opposed to deed) trumps a later filed judgment lien (JULY 1991)

  • Recordation is prima facie evidence of delivery.

  • A complete transfer of the tenant’s entire remaining term is an assignment of the lease. Assignee owes the rent directly to the L. Typically, when an assignee reassigns the leasehold interest, his privity of estate with L ends, and he is generally not liable for subsequent assignee’s failure to pay rent (unless he promises landlord or a 3rd party)

  • Tenant is normally not the beneficiary if a non assignment clause in a lease so the tenant cannot sue if a co-tenant assigns (MBE 1992)

  • If tenant does not accept new lease b/c of higher rent, if tenant stays past lease end, it is a mo-to-mo tenancy at the new rent so long as the new rent is reasonable.

  • If tenant holds over, but no new lease or new rent was discussed prior, rent for the new periodic tenancy is based on the old rent.

  • Unless a residential tenancy is involved, a year-to-year tenancy results from holding over if the original term was over one year.

  • Landlord’s promise in a lease to maintain the property does not terminate because the property is sold. L is still in privity of contract with T. New owner also liable because promise to repair runs with the land.

  • If a lease is subordinate to a mortgagee (tenant lease made after mortgage on property), and the mortgagee later takes over the property, he can cancel these junior leases (leasees had record notice of a superior interest)
  • For specific performance after a delayed closing, you must show that time was not of the essence, and you did not unreasonably delay the closing (it does not matter if you did not hold title to the property you are selling at the time the contract is made).


  • Seller of real property can enforce specific performance against a Buyer who breaches (MBE 1992)

  • If time is of the essence and you perform just one day late = MATERIAL BREACH excusing other party’s duty

  • Time of Essence clause can simply say “Contact is null and void if not performed by Certain Day”

  • If someone is living on the land, a subsequent purchaser is charged with notice (he should go check).

  • Donees are not protected by the recording statutes and thus can be subject to a covenant even if they did not have notice.

  • Under the “Notice” Recording Statute, an unrecorded conveyance is invalid as against a subsequent BFP for value and without notice. i.e. O to A then O to B

  • Under the “Notice” Recording Statute, a subsequent BFP (B) prevails over the prior interest (A) whether or not the subsequent BFP (B) records or not. Subsequent BFP wins if A does not record and B takes without notice.

  • Under the “Race-Notice” Recording Statute, an unrecorded conveyance is invalid as against a subsequent BFP for value without notice who records first. BFP is only protected if he records before prior transferee or mortgagee

  • Under the “Race-Notice” Recording Statute, a subsequent BFP (B) prevails over the prior interest (A) if subsequent BFP (B) records first. Subsequent BFP wins if A does not record and B takes without notice and B records before A.

  • You are a purchaser for value if you pay 50k for a property worth 100k

  • Mortgagees for value are treated as “purchasers” under the recording statutes.

  • If Mortgagee transfers note to HIDC, and doesn’t tell Mortgagor, and Mortgagor pays Mortgagee instead of HIDC, Holder has a COA against the security and mortgagor (if deficiency allowed)
  • Shelter Rule – person who takes from a BFP will prevail against any interest that the BFP would have prevailed against (even if transferee has actual knowledge of the prior unrecorded interest)


  • After-Acquired Title Doctrine – (Doctrine of Estoppel by Deed) – applies when a person executes a deed purporting to convey an estate in land which he does not have or which is larger than he has, and then acquires this land, it passes to the grantee by estoppel.

  • All disabling restraints on legal interests (i.e. fee simple or life estate) are void.

  • Benefits of an easement appurtenant passes with transfers of the benefited land, regardless of whether the easement is mentioned in the conveyance.

  • A beneficial easement that is visible or known to the buyer does not constitute an encumbrance so marketable title is not affected.

  • You can grant an easement that lasts only a few years.

  • Expanded use of an easement does not terminate it. (JULY 1991)

  • Only Servient tenement responsible for repair costs of an easement road (JULY 1991)

  • If you have a security interest in windows and they are removable, you can take them back if bank forecloses on the house (JULY 1991)

  • Reformation is the remedy whereby the writing is changed to conform to the original intent of the parties.

  • Failure to include a necessary party in a foreclosure preserves that party’s interest (it is not extinguished even though if it was subordinate)

  • Under common law, a mortgage results in a transfer of ownership to the mortgagee (in a title theory jux). Under this rule, a mortgage given by a joint tenant terminates the joint tenancy.

  • In joint tenancy, where one tenant takes out a mortgage, only the mortgagor’s interest is subject to the mortgage (1/2 interest)
  • If one joint tenant has a lien on his share, and the joint tenant dies, the other joint tenant owns the whole property and the lien is extinguished.


  • If one joint tenant quitclaims his interest, the joint tenancy is severed

  • Joint tenants have no fiduciary duty to each other. One can straw sale to dissolve the joint tenancy (FEB 1991)

  • If the cotenants’ title is foreclosed at a tax sale, courts will find that a fiduciary obligation exists between the cotenants. Thus if one party buys the property at such a sale, the other cotenants can acquire the same interest they previously held by promptly paying their contribution.

  • If person tries to buy property as tenants in common and forges the other person’s name on the conveyance, that ½ share will be vested in the grantor, not the other tenant in common (JULY 1991)

  • If a lien is filed on the property of a cotenant, if a partition by judicial sale is performed, the other cotenants interest is not affected. The lien only affects the portion of the proceeds of the indebted cotenant (FEB 1991)

  • Judgment creditor is not a BFP

  • Effect of an assignment on parties = T1 assigns to T2, L and T2 ARE in privity of estate (liable to each other for covenants in original lease than run with the land), L and T1 are NOT in privity of estate, L and T2 are NOT in privity of contract, L and T1 ARE in privity of contract, L and T1 are secondarily liable to each other. If T2 assigns to T3, T2 is no longer in privity of estate with L and is not liable if T3 fails to pay (but T1 is liable)

  • An assignment does NOT release the assignor from his contractual obligations, even if the assignee assigns/transfers to a sub-assignee.
  • There is privity of estate between a L and an assignee. Assignee is liable for all covenants in the original lease that “run with the land”


  • Effect of a sublease on parties = T1 sublets to T2, L and T2 are NOT in privity of estate, L and T2 are NOT in privity of contract, L and T2 share no nexus, T1 and T2 are responsible to each other

  • No privity of estate between L and sub-lessee.

  • B has assumed the mortgage = B (transferee) is primarily liable and mortgagor is secondarily liable (both are personally liable)

  • If a grantee signs an assumption agreement, becoming primarily liable to the lender, the original mortgagor is secondarily liable as a surety.

  • If a mortgagee and assuming grantee modify the terms of the note, the original mortgagor is released from liability as a surety.

  • B takes subject to the mortgage = B (transferee) has no personal liability and mortgagor is personally liable

  • Assignment of rents is from all the tenants.

  • A covenant in a lease to pay insurance is held to run with the land. Assignor can be held liable.

  • Tenant for years is obligated to make ordinary repairs to the property. Failure to make the repairs makes the tenant liable for permissive waste.

  • Power of eminent domain can be delegated to a private entity so long as it is taken for (i) public use and (ii) just compensation is paid.

  • At common law, tenant is liable for the rent regardless of flood, fire, or total uninhabitability (unless they contract otherwise).

  • If a tenant covenants to keep the leasehold premises in good repair, the general rule is that the tenant is liable for all defects (except normal wear and tear) including acts of God.
  • Profit is a nonpossesory interest in land. Even if it is nonexclusive, the owner of a profit is still entitled to compensation in a condemnation proceeding.


  • Under common law, Tenant must still pay full rent if part of the property is condemned. Tenant is entitled to an apportionment of damages for his reduced leasehold.

  • Common enemy rule – owner of a lower tract has the right to protect his land from the flow of surface water.

  • In equity, a deed absolute intended for security will in fact be construed as a mortgage.

  • If a mortgagee under a deed absolute transfers to a BFP, mortgagor has no rights against BFP, but does have an action for redemption against the mortgagee for the value of the land or, at his election, the proceeds of the sale.

  • Forged documents, even if properly recorded and notarized and relied upon by bona fide purchasers, are ineffective to convey title.

  • Adverse possession tacking requires privity which can result from contract or blood (you let your nephew use the property while you go away for 1 yr)

  • You can adversely possess a private-right-of-way

  • Absent tangible proof that property has been acquired by adverse possession, title is not marketable.

  • If an adverse possessor transfers personal property on the land, the adverse possessor still has title to the land (MBE 1992)

  • Life tenant has the right to mortgage, create liens, easements, or leases on the property but none of these dispositions can extend beyond the period of the life estate.

  • Life tenant may not exploit natural resources where no such prior use has been made.

  • Grantees in deed must be clearly identifiable (not to all leaders of churches) (FEB 1991)

  • Grantor of warranty deed would be obligated to pay Grantee’s costs to defend only if the title were defective.
  • Mortgagee has both in personam claim against the mortgagor on the debt and an in rem action against the security.


  • If you take property by quitclaim deed, and no mention of a mortgage, you take “subject to” the mortgage and mortgagee cannot institute in personam action against you for default.

  • If an unknown encumbrance exists at the time a general warranty deed is delivered, there is a breach of the covenant against encumbrances and the covenantee may recover damages. If covenantee pays off the mortgage, he can recover in damages both the mortgage principal and interest.

  • An equitable servitude is a restriction on the use of land enforceable in a court of equity. It is more than a covenant because it is an interest in the land itself.

  • An equitable servitude can be enforced by a successor to the original parties without consideration of privity, so long as the servitude (1) touches and concerns the land; (2) was intended by the parties to bind the successors; and (3) the party burdened had notice of the servitude.

  • Restrictive covenant runs with the land and can be enforced against those who should be on inquiry notice (MBE 1992)

  • There is judicial reluctance to recognize affirmative burden to pay money in installments over an indefinite period as a burden which can be affixed to bind future owners of land (MBE 1992)

  • Dedication to a school and publishing dedication creates title in the school (MBE 1992)

  • Dedicating for public use (via words, conduct, or writing) creates an easement with the fee remaining in the grantor.

  • Right of First refusal to buy land does not violate RAP if it vests during a measuring life’s lifetime (i.e. right of first refusal during grantor’s lifetime)

  • Right of First refusal is within SOF and therefore must be in writing
  • Common law majority rule for percolating water (water beneath the surface of the earth that is not confined to a known or well defined channel or bed) is that a landowner is not restricted in the withdrawal of percolating water located underneath his property even if this causes shortages and damage to the other landowners. (Note: some states now use the “reasonable use” rule)


  • A forged or undelivered deed is a nullity.

  • Prior Appropriation Doctrine- First in time, First in right.

  • Riparian Right Doctrine – The use of water for natural purposes (household consumption, gardening) is paramount and takes precedence over the use of water for artificial purposes (irrigation, manufacturing).

  • A remainder is vested if the holder of the remainder is (i) born; (ii) ascertainable; and (iii) there is no express condition precedent.

  • If the grantee is not reasonably identifiable, the deed is void.

  • If you lease from a life tenant, and life tenant dies so property goes to B, Tenant must vacate land at B’s request, even if lease still in effect.

  • Acceptance of the deed will be presumed if the conveyance is beneficial to the grantee.



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