Saturday, December 1, 2012

Strain v. Green case brief

Strain v. Green
Property Law Case Brief

Subject:  Fixtures.

Case Overview:
Strain (Plaintiff) sued after Green (Defendant) removed certain fixtures from a house that Strain had purchased from Green.

Strain purchased a house from Green. At the time of purchase, the house had been equipped with certain fixtures, which included a water heater, a chandelier, Venetian blinds, and several mirrors affixed to the walls by means of plywood backing. When Strain moved in, however, he discovered that all these fixtures had been removed and replaced with inferior substitutes.


Should objects such as those mentioned above be considered fixtures?

Yes, Such objects should be considered fixtures.


Although older decisions have held that equipment such as water heaters and door screens are not fixtures, these decisions are no longer valid in light of modern standards of living. Objects once considered luxuries are now stan- dard features of homes. In the modern view, a fixture should be determined by three criteria: (1) actual annexation to the realty or something appur- tenant thereto, (2) application to the use of purpose to that part of the realty, and (3) the intention of the party to make the annexation a permanent ac- cession to the freehold. It is important that the intention in criterion (3) is determined by evaluation of the circumstances rather than the subjective tes- timony of the party in question. Given these criteria, the objects in dispute should all be considered fixtures. Green admitted as much when he replaced the original fixtures with substitutes, as his doing so suggests a recognition that a house lacking those features would be considered incomplete.

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