Sample Business Studies Essay Paper on Business Law

Business Law

This paper entails a case study analysis on a number of issues encountered by Martin with regard to property ownership and transfer. The analysis is based on business law.

Analysis

Joint tenancy with right of survivorship

In the first case, Martin co-owned the property with his friends, Peter, John and Thomas. The joint ownership ceases to exist if all the joint owners die and only one of them is left. In such an occurrence the joint ownership becomes a sole ownership to the surviving party without probate (Sickler, 1999). However, prior to his death, Peter had transferred his interest in the property to his son Andrew.  Consequently, Andrew became a joint owner to the property. As a part owner of the property, Andrew took a bank loan on the basis of his interest in the property as the collateral. Andrew’s default to pay the loan prompted the bank to commence default proceedings.

Considering the fact that joint ownership with right of survivorship in the property prevailed, the bank did not have the right to commence the foreclosure proceedings. This arises from the fact that Martin was not a debtor. This aspect is supported by Thal and Quintero (2010) who accentuate that ‘if the title involves joint tenancy with the right of survivorship, creditors cannot satisfy their claims out of the real estate unless both owners are debtors’ (p.413). Joint ownership with right of proceeding can be terminated by foreclosure sales proceeding or incidence of bankruptcy (Bellairs, 2002). Nevertheless, in this case, the property was characterised by undivided interest between Martin and Andrew.  This arises from the fact that Martin had not appended his signature agreeing to the property being collateral for Andrew’s loan bars the bank from claiming the defaulted loan on the property. Therefore, Martin has a legal right to block the bank’s intention to sell the property in order to recover the loan.

Adverse possession and bailment

The fact that none of the co-owners to the mountain property had visited the property for a period of 20 years made the property vulnerable to grabbers. In this case, Otis had lived in the property openly and notoriously for two decades.  On the basis of this aspect, Otis claimed that the property was his. In law, Otis had a legal right to claim ownership to the property under the principle of adverse possession. The doctrine states that the occupier of a particular land acquires the title to the property even without compensation to or consent from the true owner if the said occupier has lived in the property for considerable time period (Bouckaert & Depoorter, 2000).  In addition to the adverse possession, Otis may claim the property under the concept of involuntary bailment, which states that bailment is established if a bailee finds a lost or mislaid property even without the consent of the owner (Miller & Jentz, 2010).

To claim the property under the adverse possession doctrine, Otis must prove that he had held the property exclusively, notoriously, continuously and openly and for the period stipulated by law. All these conditions must be met in order for Otis to claim ownership to the property. However, if Otis does not meet the above conditions, then Martin has the right to claim the property from the unauthorised owner. In addition to the above aspects, Otis must prove to have undertaken physical improvement on the property. If no physical improvements have been undertaken on the land, Otis cannot claim the land (Banthia and Company Advocates, 2015)

Eminent domain

With reference to the coastal property, Martin’s would lose the property because of the government’s intention to establish a beach resort that was aimed at providing the local community jobs hence improving their living standards. In this case, the US government had the legal ground to take the land adjacent to Martin’s property under the eminent domain right (Miller & Jentz, 2010).  This arises from the fact that the land would be used for public use such as establishing utilities to be used by the local community as opposed to private use. This right postulates that ‘government has an ultimate right in all land in the United States’ (p. 573).   The case of Kelo v. City of New London underlines the government’s legal right to take a property for a specific economic development (Yellin, 2011). However, in the process of taking the land, the US government must ensure that it acts in accordance with the constitution and the applicable state law.

Considering the fact that the property would be used for public use for the economic benefit of the community, Martin would lose if he decides to stop the government from taking the property. The government can commence condemnation proceeding through the judicial system, which determines the fair value of the land. In most cases, the fair value determined by the court is close or equal to the prevailing market value (Clauretie, Kuhn & Schwer, 2004). If Martin beliefs that the government has undervalued the property, he may commence a litigation against the government, which might be costly. Considering the litigation cost and delays associated by such litigations, the government may overvalue the property above the market value, which means that the property might be sold to the government for a higher amount. In this case, Martin would have benefited greatly. According to Ezekiel 46: 18, the bible states that the prince should not take the inheritance of the citizens hence throwing out of the property. On the contrary, government has a right to preserve the citizen’s property. This means that biblically, the government does not have eminent domain. Nevertheless, Martin has a duty to obey Godly ordained sovereign authority such as the government as stated in the book of Mathew 22: 21 (Doe, 2013).

Good Faith Purchasers for Value

In the third fourth incident, Martin lost his 1966 Pontiac GTO to Benjamin who stole it and sold it to another party. Despite the fact that Martin found his GTO, the new owner refused to return the product unless Martin pays $ 5,600 the price that the new owner had paid to acquire the GTO. In this case, the new owner was a good faith purchaser and acted without the knowledge on whether the property was stolen (Balganesh, 2016). Under common law, the new owner is adequately protected and has the right to transfer the property to another arty at a price. Therefore, Martin had no legal power against the new owner considering the fact that the GTO was not registered as an intellectual property (Gilmore, 1963).

Conclusion

The analysis shows that property owners are adequately protected by law. Moreover, the analysis further underlines the importance of property owners developing adequate knowledge regarding property ownership and how property can be successfully transferred to another party with or without the owner’s consent.

References

Balganesh, S. (2016). ‘Copyright and good faith purchasers’, California Law Review, 104 (2),

            2-58.

Banthia and Company Advocates. (2015). ‘Theme; property law’, Journal of Property Law, 1

            (7).

Bellairs, H. (2002). Modern real estate practices in Pennsylvania. Chicago, IL: Dearborn

            Real Estate.

Bouckaert, B., & Depoorter, B. (2000). Adverse possession; title systems. Retrieved from

            <http://encyclo.findlaw.com/1200book.pdf >

Clauretie, T., Kuhn, W., & Schwer, R. (2004). ‘Residential properties taken under eminent

            domain; do government appraisers track market values’, JFER, 26 (3).

Doe, N. (2013). Christian law; contemporary principles. London: Cambridge University

            Press.

Gilmore, G. (1963). ‘The commercial doctrine of good faith purchase’, The Yale Law

            Journal, 63 (8), 1058-1070. 

Miller, R., & Jentz, G. (2010). Fundamentals of business law; excerpted cases. Mason, OH:

            South-Western Cengage Learning.

Sickler, S. (1999). ‘Use joint tenancy only with extreme caution’, Marquatte Elder Advisor, 1

            (2), pp. 35-40.

Thal, L., & Quintero, S. (2010). Business aspects of optometry. Maryland Heights, Mo.:

            Butterworth-Heinemann Elsevier. 

Yellin, D. (2011). ‘Masters of their own eminent domain; the case for a reliance interest

associated with economic development taking’,  The Georgetown Law Journal, 99 (23), 651-676.