CITES BY TOPIC:  property

Property and Privacy Protection Page -Family Guardian Fellowship

Wikipedia: Private Property (OFFSITE LINK) -Wikipedia

Property (OFFSITE LINK) -Online Library of Liberty

Separation Between Public and Private Course, Form #12.025

There is no private property in the United States-Voluntarist

28 C.F.R. §45.5-Personal use of Government Property

5 C.F.R. §2635.502-Personal and business relationships

5 C.F.R. §2635.702-Use of Public Office for Private Gain

5 C.F.R. §2635.704-Use of Government Property

Misuse of Position and Government Resources, U.S. Department of Justice

Use of Government Information, Property, and Time, U.S. Department of Justice, Department Ethics Office

Black’s Law Dictionary, Second Edition, p. 955

“PROPERTY. Rightful dominion over external objects; ownership; the unrestricted and exclusive right to a thing; the right to dispose of the substance of a thing in every legal way, to possess it, to use it and to exclude every one else from interfering with it. Mackeld. Rom. Law, § 265.

Property is the highest right a man can have to anything; being used for that right which one has to lands or tenements, goods or chattels, which no way depends on another man's courtesy. Jackson ex dem. Pearson v. Housel, 17 Johns. 281, 283.

A right imparting to the owner a power of indefinite user, capable of being transmitted to universal successors by way of descent, and imparting to the owner the power of disposition, from himself and his successors per universitatem, and from all other persons who have a spes successions under any existing concession or disposition, in favor of such person or series of persons as he may choose, with the like capacities and powers as he had himself, and under such conditions as the municipal or particular law allows to be annexed to the dispositions of private persons. Aust. Jur. (Campbell’s Ed.) § 1103.

The right of property is that sole and despotic dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in total exclusion of the right of any other individual in the universe. It consists in the free use, enjoyment and disposal of all a person's acquisitions, without any control or diminution save only by the laws of the land. 1 Bl. Comm. 138; 2 Bl. Comm. 2, 15.

The word is also commonly used to denote any external object over which, the right of property is exercised. In this sense i t is a very wide term, and includes every class of acquisitions which a man can own or have an interest in. See Scranton v. Wheeler, 179 D. S. 141, 21 Sup. C t 48, 45 L. Ed. 126; Lawrence v. Hennessey, 165 Mo. 659, 65 S. W. 717; Boston & L. R. Corp. v. Salem & L. R. Co., 2 Gray (Mass.), 35; National Tel. News Co. v. Western Union Tel. Co., 119 Fed. 294, 56 C. C. A. 198, 60 L. R. A. 805; Hamilton v. Rathbone, 175 U. S. 414, 20 Sup. Ct. 155, 44 L. Ed. 219; Stanton v. Lewis, 26 Conn. 449;

Wilson v. Ward Lumber Co. (C. C.) 67 Fed. 674.

—Absolute property . In respect to chattels personal property is said to be "absolute" where a man has, solely and exclusively, the right and also the occupation of any movable chattels, so permanent, but may at some times subsist and not at other times; such for example, as the property a man may have in wild animals which he has caught and keeps, and which are his only so long as he retains possession of them. 2 BL Comm. 389.—Real property . A general term for lands, tenements, and hereditaments; property which, on the death of the owner intestate, passes to his heir. Real property is either corporeal or incorporeal. See Code N. Y. § 462 — Separate property . The separate property of a married woman is that which she owns in her own right, which is liable only for her own debts, and which she can incumber and dispose of at her own will.—Special property. Property of a qualified, temporary, or limited nature; as distinguished from absolute, general, or unconditional property. Such is the property of a bailee in the article bailed, of a sheriff in goods temporarily in his hands under a levy, of the finder of lost goods while looking for the owner, of a person in wild animals which he has caught. Stief v. Hart, 1 N.Y. 24; Moulton  v. Witherell, 52 Me. 242; Eisendrath v. Knauer, 64 111. 402; Phelps v. People, 72 N.Y. 357.

[Black’s Law Dictionary, Second Edition, p. 955]

Black’s Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, p. 1095

Property. That which is peculiar or proper to any person; that which belongs exclusively to one. In the strict legal sense, an aggregate of rights which are guaranteed and protected by the government. Fulton Light, Heat & Power Co. v. State, 65 Misc.Rep. 263, 121 N.Y.S. 536. The term is said to extend to every species of valuable right and interest. More specifically, ownership; the unrestricted and exclusive right to a thing; the right to dispose of a thing in every legal way, to possess it, to use it, and to exclude everyone else from interfering with it. That dominion or indefinite right of use or disposition which one may lawfully exercise over particular things or subjects. The exclusive right of possessing, enjoying, and disposing of a thing. The highest right a man can have to anything; being used to refer to that right which one has to lands or tenements, goods or chattels, which no way depends on another man's courtesy.

The word is also commonly used to denote everything which is the subject of ownership, corporeal or incorporeal, tangible or intangible, visible or invisible, real or personal, everything that has an exchangeable value or which goes to make up wealth or estate. It extends to every species of valuable right and interest, and includes real and personal property, easements, franchises, and incorporeal hereditaments, and includes every invasion of one's property rights by actionable wrong. Labberton v. General Cas. Co. of America, 53 Wash.2d. 180, 332 P.2d. 250, 252, 254.

Property embraces everything which is or may be the subject of ownership, whether a legal ownership. or whether beneficial, or a private ownership. Davis v. Davis. TexCiv-App., 495 S.W.2d. 607. 611. Term includes not only ownership and possession but also the right of use and enjoyment for lawful purposes. Hoffmann v. Kinealy, Mo., 389 S.W.2d. 745, 752.

Property, within constitutional protection, denotes group of rights inhering in citizen's relation to physical thing, as right to possess, use and dispose of it. Cereghino v. State By and Through State Highway Commission, 230 Or. 439, 370 P.2d. 694, 697.

[Black’s Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, p. 1095]

Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, p. 1106

Ownership. Collection of rights to use and enjoy property, including right to transmit it to others. Trustees of Phillips Exeter Academy v. Exeter, 92 N.H. 473, 33 A.2d. 665, 673. The complete dominion, title, or proprietary right in a thing or claim. The entirety of the powers of use and disposal allowed by law.

The right of one or more persons to possess and use a thing to the exclusion of others. The right by which a thing belongs to someone in particular, to the exclusion of all other persons. The exclusive right of possession, enjoyment, and disposal; involving as an essential attribute the right to control, handle, and dispose.

Ownership of property is either absolute or qualified. The ownership of property is absolute when a single person has the absolute dominion over it, and may use it or dispose of it according to his pleasure, subject only to general laws. The ownership is qualified when it is shared with one or more persons, when the time of enjoyment is deferred or limited, or when the use is restricted. Calif. Civil Code, §§678-680.

There may be ownership of all inanimate things which are capable of appropriation or of manual delivery; of all domestic animals; of all obligations; of such products of labor or skill as the composition of an author, the goodwill of a business, trademarks and signs, and of rights created or granted by statute. Calif. Civil Code, §655.

In connection with burglary, "ownership" means any possession which is rightful as against the burglar.

See also Equitable ownership; Exclusive ownership; Hold; Incident of ownership; Interest; Interval ownership; Ostensible ownership; Owner; Possession; Title.

[Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, p. 1106]

American Jurisprudence 2d, United States, §45 (1999)

“A claim against the United States is a right to demand money from the United States. [1] Such claims are sometimes spoken of as gratuitous in that they cannot be enforced by suit without statutory consent. [2]    The general rule of non-liability of the United States  does not mean that a citizen cannot be protected against the wrongful governmental acts that affect the citizen or his or her property.[3] If, for example, money or property of an innocent person goes into the federal treasury by fraud to which a government agent was a party, the United States cannot [lawfully] hold the money or property against the claim of the injured party.[4] ” 
[American Jurisprudence 2d, United States, §45 (1999)]


[1] United States ex rel. Angarica v. Bayard,  127 U.S. 251,  32 L.Ed. 159,  8 S.Ct. 1156, 4 AFTR 4628 (holding that a claim against the Secretary of State for money awarded under a treaty is a claim against the United States); Hobbs v. McLean, 117 U.S. 567, 29 L.Ed. 940, 6 S.Ct. 870; Manning v. Leighton, 65 Vt. 84, 26 A 258, motion dismd 66 Vt. 56, 28 A 630 and (disapproved on other grounds by Button’s Estate v. Anderson, 112 Vt. 531, 28 A.2d. 404, 143 A.L.R. 195).

[2] Blagge v. Balch,  162 U.S. 439,  40 L.Ed. 1032,  16 S.Ct. 853.

[3] Wilson v. Shaw, 204 U.S. 24, 51 L.Ed. 351, 27 S.Ct. 233.

[4] Bull v. United States,  295 U.S. 247,  79 L.Ed. 1421,  55 S.Ct. 695, 35-1 USTC ¶ 9346, 15 AFTR 1069; United States v. State Bank,  96 U.S. 30, 96 Otto 30,  24 L.Ed. 647.

Gordon v. U. S., 227 Ct.Cl. 328, 649 F.2d. 837 (Ct.Cl., 1981)

“When the Government has illegally received money which is the property of an innocent citizen and when this money has gone into the Treasury of the United States, there arises an implied contract on the part of the Government to make restitution to the rightful owner under the Tucker Act and this court has jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
90 Ct.Cl. at 613, 31 F.Supp. at 769.”
[Gordon v. U. S., 227 Ct.Cl. 328, 649 F.2d. 837 (Ct.Cl., 1981)]

California Civil Code, Section 2224

California Civil Code
Section 2224

“One who gains a thing by fraud, accident, mistake, undue influence, the violation of a trust, or other wrongful act, is, unless he or she has some other and better right thereto, an involuntary trustee of the thing gained, for the benefit of the person who would otherwise have had it.”

Bull v. United States, 295 U.S. 247, 261, 55 S.Ct. 695, 700, 79 L.Ed. 1421

“The United States, we have held, cannot, as against the claim of an innocent party, hold his money which has gone into its treasury by means of the fraud of its agent. While here the money was taken through mistake without element of fraud, the unjust retention is immoral and amounts in law to a fraud of the taxpayer's rights. What was said in the State Bank Case applies with equal force to this situation. ‘An action will lie whenever the defendant has received money which is the property of the plaintiff, and which the defendant is obligated by natural justice and equity to refund. The form of the indebtedness or the mode in which it was incurred is immaterial.
[Bull v. United States, 295 U.S. 247, 261, 55 S.Ct. 695, 700, 79 L.Ed. 1421]

Armstrong v. United States, 364 US 40 (1960)


The final question is whether the Government's action constituted a "taking" of petitioners' property interests within the meaning of the Fifth Amendment. Before the United States compelled Rice to transfer the hulls and all materials held for future use in building the boats, petitioners had valid liens under Maine law against both the hulls and whatever unused materials which petitioners had furnished. Before transfer these liens were enforceable by attachment against both the hulls and all materials. After transfer to the United States the liens were still valid, United States v. Alabama, 313 U. S. 274, 281-282, but they could not be enforced because of the sovereign immunity of the Government and its property from suit.[4]The result of this was a destruction of all petitioners' property rights under their liens, although, as we have pointed out, the liens were valid and had compensable value. Petitioners contend that destruction of 47*47 their liens under the circumstances here is a "taking." The United States denies this, largely on the premise that inability of petitioners to enforce their liens because of immunity of the Government and its property from suit cannot amount to a "taking."

The Government argues that the Ansonia case is dispositive of this Fifth Amendment issue. In that case, the contract between the shipbuilder and the United States provided, as to one of the ships contracted for, the dredge Benyuard, that as progress payments were made, the portion of the work paid for should become the property of the United States. Subcontractors claimed liens on the uncompleted vessel under the Virginia supply-lien law. This Court merely held that, as the property had passed to the United States by virtue of the terms of the contract, no lien could be enforced against it. No question was raised as to the rights possessed by the subcontractors prior to the acquisition of title by the United States nor as to whether that event entitled them to just compensation under the Fifth Amendment. There is, to be sure, reason to believe that the subcontractors' liens in that case, like those of petitioners here, did attach as soon as materials were furnished, which would necessarily be prior to the making of a progress payment for the portion of the work incorporating those materials and the consequent passage of title to the United States. See Hawes & Co. v. Trigg Co.,110 Va. 165, 185-186, 199, 65 S. E. 538, 546-547, 551-552. But the Fifth Amendment question was not raised or passed upon. In these circumstances we cannot regard the court's decision as dispositive on the precise point now under consideration, and must proceed to decide that question.[5]

48*48 We hold that there was a taking of these liens for which just compensation is due under the Fifth Amendment. It is true that not every destruction or injury to property by governmental action has been held to be a "taking" in the constitutional sense. Omnia Commercial Co. v. United States, 261 U. S. 502, 508-510. This case and many others reveal the difficulty of trying to draw the line between what destructions of property by lawful governmental actions are compensable "takings" and what destructions are "consequential" and therefore not compensable. See, e. g., United States v. Central Eureka Mining Co., 357 U. S. 155United States v. Causby, 328 U. S. 256United States v. General Motors Corp., 323 U. S. 373United States v. Sponenbarger, 308 U. S. 256Pennsylvania Coal Co. v. Mahon, 260 U. S. 393Louisville & Nashville R. Co. v. Mottley, 219 U. S. 467Legal Tender Cases, 12 Wall. 457, 551.

The total destruction by the Government of all value of these liens, which constitute compensable property, has every possible element of a Fifth Amendment "taking" and is not a mere "consequential incidence" of a valid regulatory measure. Before the liens were destroyed, the lienholders admittedly had compensable property. Immediately afterwards, they had none. This was not because their property vanished into thin air. It was because the Government for its own advantage destroyed the value of the liens, something that the Government could do because its property was not subject to suit, but which no private purchaser could have done. Since this acquisition was for a public use, however accomplished, whether with an intent and purpose of extinguishing the liens or not, the Government's action did destroy them 49*49 and in the circumstances of this case did thereby take the property value of those liens within the meaning of the Fifth Amendment. Neither the boats' immunity, after being acquired by the Government, from enforcement of the liens nor the use of a contract to take title relieves the Government from its constitutional obligation to pay just compensation for the value of the liens the petitioners lost and of which loss the Government was the direct, positive beneficiary.

The Fifth Amendment's guarantee that private property shall not be taken for a public use without just compensation was designed to bar Government from forcing some people alone to bear public burdens which, in all fairness and justice, should be borne by the public as a whole. A fair interpretation of this constitutional protection entitles these lienholders to just compensation here. Cf. Thibodo v. United States, 187 F. 2d 249.

The judgment is reversed and the cause is remanded to the Court of Claims for further proceedings to determine the value of the property taken.

Reversed and remanded.

[Armstrong v. United States, 364 US 40 (1960)]

[This is a HUGELY important ruling, because it says that the govermment implicitly waives sovereign immunity when it takes your property of any kind, including for tax collection]

Nollan v. California Coastal Comm'n, 483 U.S. 825  (1987)

“We have repeatedly held that, as to property reserved by its owner for private use, "the right to exclude [others is] `one of the most essential sticks in the bundle of rights that are commonly characterized as property.' " Loretto v. Teleprompter Manhattan CATV Corp., 458 U.S. 419, 433 (1982), quoting Kaiser Aetna v. United States, 444 U.S. 164, 176 (1979). “

[Nollan v. California Coastal Comm'n, 483 U.S. 825  (1987)]

Kaiser Aetna v. United States, 444 U.S. 164 (1979)

“In this case, we hold that the "right to exclude," so universally held to be a fundamental element of the property right,[11] falls within this category of interests that the Government cannot take without compensation.

[Kaiser Aetna v. United States, 444 U.S. 164 (1979)]



[11] See, e. g., United States v. Pueblo of San Ildefonso, 206 Ct.Cl. 649, 669-670, 513 F.2d. 1383, 1394 (1975); United States v. Lutz,295 F.2d. 736, 740 (CA5 1961). As stated by Mr. Justice Brandeis, "[a]n essential element of individual property is the legal right to exclude others from enjoying it." International News Service v. Associated Press, 248 U.S. 215, 250 (1918) (dissenting opinion).

Bouvier’s Maxims of Law, 1856

Quando duo juro concurrunt in und personâ, aequum est ac si essent in diversis.
When two rights [public right v. private right] concur in one person, it is the same as if they were two separate persons. 4 Co. 118.
[Bouvier’s Maxims of Law, 1856;