Monday, March 19, 2012

The Enforcement of Property Claims

Eduardo Penalver has a intriguing post about the difficulty of enforcing small property claims:

I've been thinking about small claims, becuase in the property context they are pervasive and pose a real challenge but for some reason don't get much attention.  

First off, let me explain why I think small (and even medium-sized) claims pose a particular problem in the property context.  (I'm not making a strong claim, here, and I don't think much hangs on the idea that this is a problem unique to property.  So please forgive me if you think I'm way off base on this.)  

The biggest reason is that the class action mechanism is usually not available for property disputes.  Small and medium-sized property disputes, especially land conflicts, tend to be relatively small-n affairs, and the facts of each case are usually sufficiently distinct that even litgiation against a repeat player (e.g., a large landlord) may not justify class treatment.

The whole thing is worth your time.

Steve Clowney

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