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Texas A&M University School of Law

Property Law and Real Estate

Property

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Tiny Homes: A Big Solution To American Housing Insecurity, Lisa T. Alexander Mar 2022

Tiny Homes: A Big Solution To American Housing Insecurity, Lisa T. Alexander

Faculty Scholarship

“There’s no place like home,” said Dorothy. Yet, millions of people in the United States may face eviction, foreclosure, or homelessness in 2021 and beyond. America is on the brink of an unprecedented housing crisis in the wake of Covid-19. The federal government, and various states and localities, have taken actions to avert a housing crisis in the aftermath of Covid 19. While these actions have undeniably helped mitigate widespread foreclosure and eviction crises, they do not fully address the more fundamental American housing challenge—an inadequate supply of affordable housing at all income levels, a longstanding problem that Covid-19 has …


Reclaiming The Streets, Vanessa Casado-Pérez Jul 2021

Reclaiming The Streets, Vanessa Casado-Pérez

Faculty Scholarship

Pedestrians have been getting the short end of the stick in street policies and regulations. Drivers and cars dominate our streets even though automobiles’ externalities kill thousands of people every year. Given the environmental, health, safety, and community effects of cars, municipalities should embrace a policy that puts pedestrians at the center and produces more miles of wider, well-maintained sidewalks. Sidewalks make communities greener, healthier, safer, more socially connected, and even, wealthier. COVID-19 lockdowns have shown both the relevance of sidewalks, as well as the possibility of pedestrians regaining space currently allocated to cars by widening sidewalks.

This Essay identifies, …


Takings Localism, Nestor M. Davisdson, Timothy M. Mulvaney Mar 2021

Takings Localism, Nestor M. Davisdson, Timothy M. Mulvaney

Faculty Scholarship

Conflicts over “sanctuary” cities, minimum wage laws, and gender-neutral bathrooms have brought the problematic landscape of contemporary state preemption of local governance to national attention. This Article contends that more covert, although equally robust, state interference can be found in property, with significant consequences for our understanding of takings law.

Takings jurisprudence looks to the states to mediate most tensions between individual property rights and community needs, as the takings federalism literature recognizes. Takings challenges, however, often involve local governments. If the doctrine privileges the democratic process to resolve most takings claims, then, that critical process is a largely local …


The State Of Exactions, Timothy M. Mulvaney Oct 2019

The State Of Exactions, Timothy M. Mulvaney

Faculty Scholarship

In Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, the Supreme Court slightly expanded the range of circumstances involving conditional land use permits in which heightened judicial scrutiny is appropriate in a constitutional “exaction” takings case. In crafting a vision of regulators as strategic extortionists of private property interests, though, Koontz prompted many takings observers to predict that the case would provide momentum for a more significant expansion of such scrutiny in takings cases involving land use permit conditions moving forward, and perhaps even an extension into other regulatory contexts, as well.

Five years on, this Article evaluates the extent …


The Street View Of Property, Vanessa Casado-Pérez Feb 2019

The Street View Of Property, Vanessa Casado-Pérez

Faculty Scholarship

Parking on public streets is scarce. The current allocation system for parking spots based on rule of capture coupled with low parking fees creates a tragedy of the commons scenario. The misallocation of parking has consequences for commerce, for access to public spaces, and for pollution and congestion. Municipalities have not widely adopted the solution that economists propose to solve this scarcity problem: increase the price. Politics aside, the reluctance of municipalities to do so may be explained by the unique nature of public property as reflected in well-rooted legal and societal constraints. This unique nature helps explain, for example, …


Property-As-Society, Timothy M. Mulvaney Oct 2018

Property-As-Society, Timothy M. Mulvaney

Faculty Scholarship

Modern regulatory takings disputes present a key battleground for competing conceptions of property. This Article offers the following account of the three leading theories: a libertarian view sees property as creating a sphere of individual freedom and control (property-as-liberty); a pecuniary view sees property as a tool of economic investment (property-as-investment); and a progressive view sees property as serving a wide range of evolving communal values that include, but are not limited to, those advanced under both the libertarian and pecuniary conceptions (property-as-society). Against this backdrop, the Article offers two contentions. First, on normative grounds, it asserts that the conception …


Legislative Exactions And Progressive Property, Timothy M. Mulvaney Dec 2016

Legislative Exactions And Progressive Property, Timothy M. Mulvaney

Faculty Scholarship

Exactions — a term used to describe certain conditions that are attached to land-use permits issued at the government’s discretion — ostensibly oblige property owners to internalize the costs of the expected infrastructural, environmental, and social harms resulting from development. This Article explores how proponents of progressive conceptions of property might respond to the open question of whether legislative exactions should be subject to the same level of judicial scrutiny to which administrative exactions are subject in constitutional takings cases. It identifies several first-order reasons to support the idea of immunizing legislative exactions from heightened takings scrutiny. However, it suggests …


Restoring Hope For Heirs Property Owners: The Uniform Partition Of Heirs Property Act, Thomas W. Mitchell Nov 2016

Restoring Hope For Heirs Property Owners: The Uniform Partition Of Heirs Property Act, Thomas W. Mitchell

Faculty Scholarship

For well over 125 years, many Americans have lost their tenancy-in-common property involuntarily in various legal proceedings. For example, courts throughout this country have often resolved partition actions, a legal proceeding in which a tenant in common seeks to exit a tenancy in common, by ordering a forced, partition sale of the property even when these courts could have ordered a remedy that would have preserved the property rights of the tenants in common. Though partition sales have negatively impacted a broad cross section of people in this country, the sales have particularly impacted poor and disadvantaged African-Americans, Hispanics, white …


On Bargaining For Development, Timothy M. Mulvaney Jan 2015

On Bargaining For Development, Timothy M. Mulvaney

Faculty Scholarship

In his recent article, Bargaining for Development Post-Koontz, Professor Sean Nolon concludes that the Supreme Court’s recent ill-defined expansion of the circumstances in which land use permit conditions might give rise to takings liability in Koontz v. St. John’s River Water Management District will chill the state’s willingness to communicate with permit applicants about mitigation measures. He sets out five courses that government entities might take in this confusing and chilling post-Koontz world, each of which leaves something to be desired from the perspective of both developers and the public more generally.

This responsive essay proceeds in two parts. First, …


Progressive Property Moving Forward, Timothy M. Mulvaney Sep 2014

Progressive Property Moving Forward, Timothy M. Mulvaney

Faculty Scholarship

In his thought-provoking recent article, “The Ambition and Transformative Potential of Progressive Property,” Ezra Rosser contends that, in the course of laying the foundations of a theory grounded in property’s social nature, scholars who participated in the renowned 2009 Cornell symposium on progressive property have “glossed over” property law’s continuing conquest of American Indian lands and the inheritance of privileges that stem from property-based discrimination against African Americans. I fully share Rosser’s concerns regarding past and continuing racialized acquisition and distribution, if not always his characterization of the select progressive works he critiques. Where I focus in this essay, though, …


Reforming Property Law To Address Devastating Land Loss, Thomas W. Mitchell Jul 2014

Reforming Property Law To Address Devastating Land Loss, Thomas W. Mitchell

Faculty Scholarship

Tenancy-in-common ownership represents the most widespread form of common ownership of real property in the United States. Such ownership under the default rules also represents the most unstable ownership of real property in this country. Thousands of tenancy-in-common property owners, including members of many poor and minority families, have lost their commonly-owned property due to court-ordered, forced partition sales as well as much of their real estate wealth associated with such ownership as a result of such sales. Though some scholars and the media have highlighted how thousands of African-Americans have lost an untold amount of property and substantial real …


Foreground Principles, Timothy M. Mulvaney Mar 2013

Foreground Principles, Timothy M. Mulvaney

Faculty Scholarship

The U.S. Supreme Court has declared for decades that, for Takings Clause purposes, property interests are not created by the Constitution but rather are determined by “existing rules or understandings that stem from an independent source such as state law.” However, the Court has exhibited a strong normative preference for a certain type of independent source — “background principles” of the common law — over others, namely state statutory and administrative law. This Article calls this preference into question.

The Article develops a model to demonstrate the four basic categories, or quadrants, of takings decisions that extensive reliance on the …


Proposed Exactions, Timothy M. Mulvaney Mar 2011

Proposed Exactions, Timothy M. Mulvaney

Faculty Scholarship

In the abstract, the site-specific ability to issue conditional approvals offers local governments the flexible option of permitting a development proposal while simultaneously requiring the applicant to offset the project’s external impacts. However, the U.S. Supreme Court curtailed the exercise of this option in Nollan and Dolan by establishing a constitutional takings framework unique to exaction disputes. This exaction takings construct has challenged legal scholars on several fronts for the better part of the past two decades. For one, Nollan and Dolan place a far greater burden on the government in justifying exactions it attaches to a development approval than …


Destabilizing The Normalization Of Rural Black Land Loss: A Critical Role For Legal Empiricism, Thomas W. Mitchell Mar 2005

Destabilizing The Normalization Of Rural Black Land Loss: A Critical Role For Legal Empiricism, Thomas W. Mitchell

Faculty Scholarship

Mitchell's study exemplifies the New Legal Realist goal of combining qualitative and quantitative empirical research to shed light on important legal and policy issues. He also demonstrates the utility of a ground-level contextual analysis that examines legal problems from the bottom up. The study tracks processes by which black rural landowners have gradually been dispossessed of more than 90% of the land held by their predecessors in 1910. Mitchell points out that despite the continuing practices that contribute to this problem, there has been very little research on the issue, and what little attention legal scholars have paid to it …