Friday, November 11, 2011

Pierson v. Post case brief (with professor's class notes added in)

Pierson v. Post

  • P began pursuit of a fox on unpossessed land.  
  • D, knowing that P was in pursuit of the fox, killed the fox himself and carried it off.
-Did the P, by his own pursuit of the fox by his own hounds, acquire a right to the property (the fox), as to sustain an action against the P for killing and taking the fox away?
-No, the mere pursuit of the fox gave the P no legal right to the fox.  The fox became the property of the D who intercepted and killed the fox.
-A fox is ferae naturae (wild by nature), and property in such animals is acquired only by occupancy.
-Occupany = actual corporal possession.
-One must acquire occupancy for ownership.
-The basic concept of occupancy is relative, or circumstantial.
-The fox only is owned once it has been deprived of it's natural liberty.
-Justinian: "pursuit alone vests no property right in the huntsman; even pursuit accompanied with wounding is equally ineffectual for that purpose, unless the animal is actually taken.
-nets or toils may justly be deemed to give possession

Class: Property
Subject: Wild animals, possession, control

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