Property condemnation

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Vern Shoepke bought a two-story home in Roche, Maine. The warranty deed did not specify what covenants would be included in the conveyance. The property was adjacent to a public park that included a popular Frisbee golf course. (Frisbee golf is a sport similar to golf but using Frisbees.) Wayakichi Creek ran along the north end of the park and along Shoepke’s property. The deed allowed Roche citizens the right to walk across a five-foot-wide section of the lot beside Wayakichi Creek as part of a two-mile public trail system. Teenagers regularly threw Frisbee golf discs from the walking path behind Shoepke’s property over his yard to the adjacent park. Shoepke habitually shouted and cursed at the teenagers, demanding that they not throw the discs over his yard.

Two months after moving into his Roche home, Shoepke leased the second floor to Lauren Slater for nine months. The lease agreement did not specify that Shoepke’s consent would be required to sublease the second floor. After three months of tenancy, Slater sublet the second floor to a local artist, Javier Indalecio. Over the remaining six months, Indalecio’s use of oil paints damaged the carpeting in Shoepke’s home. Using the information presented in the chapter, answer the following questions.

  1. What is the term for the right of Roche citizens to walk across Shoepke’s land on the trail?
  2. What covenants would most courts infer were included in the warranty deed that Shoepke received when he bought his house?
  3. Can Shoepke hold Slater financially responsible for the damage to the carpeting caused by Indalecio? Explain.
  4. Could the fact that teenagers continually throw Frisbees over Shoepke’s yard outside the second-floor windows arguably be a breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment? Why or why not?

Debate This:
Under no circumstances should a local government be able to condemn property in order to sell it later to real estate developers for private use.

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