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EntitlementThe Paradoxes of Property$
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Joseph William Singer

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780300080193

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300080193.001.0001

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Paradoxes of Property

Paradoxes of Property

(p.19) Chapter 1 Paradoxes of Property

Joseph William Singer

Yale University Press

This chapter explores the paradoxes and problems that can be encountered when dealing with property rights and property laws. It looks at, for example, how interests in the free use of property can apparently conflict with interests in security. It reflects on the case of Friendswood. In this case, withdrawing water directly affected and caused harm to neighbors of Friendswood. The case of Friendswood points out however, that property was being used in a lawful manner. Accordingly, a judge might rule in favor of Friendswood because the neighbors acted negligently in building homes in an area that was prone to flooding or to sinkholes. Thus, the Friendswood case demonstrates a fundamental conflict that a judge may face when confronted with these two distinct property rights: the right to use one's property as one sees fit, and the right not to have one's property physically invaded or destroyed by others.

Keywords:   property rights, property laws, free use of property, interests in security, Friendswood

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