Lee Anne Fennell
University of Chicago Law School
February 28, 2014
Columbia Law Review, Forthcoming
Kreisman Working Paper on Housing Law and Policy No. 2
University of Chicago Coase-Sandor Institute for Law & Economics Research Paper No. 666
U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 449
Takings, or involuntary terminations of ownership, have a widely ignored logical counterpart: involuntary impositions of ownership, or “forcings.” While legal compulsion to begin or continue ownership is neither entirely unstudied as an academic matter nor entirely unprecedented as a doctrinal matter, the category lacks a unified treatment. Because coercively imposed ownership can substitute for other forms of government coercion, forcings deserve attention, even if they will rarely dominate other alternatives. Attending to forcings as a conceptual possibility reveals their kinship with existing features of law and highlights one of ownership’s most essential moves: delivering actual outcomes, and not just their expected value equivalents. Unpacking the considerations that might prompt law to impose ownership on unwilling parties points the way to alternatives short of full-strength compelled ownership. The analysis also suggests an additional domain of government action — “relievings” — for unburdening owners of unwanted property.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 58
Keywords: eminent domain, takings, givings, ownership, put options, abandonment, accession, land useAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: November 8, 2013 ; Last revised: February 28, 2014
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