Sunday, January 22, 2006

Property problem

Those of you in Garnett's Property class, bear with me--I'm going to quote from the book. The following is a case note that I found interesting and perplexing.

"F, a farmer, is bothered by wild migrating geese on her land and shoots them in violation of the fish and game laws. The government confiscates the carcasses, and F sues for their return. The government wins, the court explaining that the government owns wild animals, may regulate their taking, and may confiscate animals taken in violation of regulations. [Citations]

So when the geese return the next year, F sues the government for damage to her cornfield caused by the geese the government has been said to own. The government wins again, the court holding that the government does not own wild fowl and is not liable for damage caused by them. [Citations]"

What do you think? I think her lawyer should get an award for trying. See Douglas v. Seacoast Prods., Inc. (431 U.S. 265 for you law nerds), second full paragraph on page 284 (right before section III) for the court's attempt at reconciling the cases.

1 comment:

mel said...

I think I'll save up and move to my own private island. :)

OK, seriously, did the same court rule in both these cases? As one who knows little about the law, I would think that the ruling in the first case should have an effect on the second. Why does it not?