Debate This: Property condemnation

Learning Goal: I’m working on a law discussion question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

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.


When a person has ownership of a property, he or she has the right of possessing it, use it, or even dispose of it. A person can use it the way he or she wants. This is because of the ownership rights. When the government wants to take that property for public use, it can do so under the doctrine of eminent domain (Miller, 2021). However, to do that, the government will make just compensation to the owner of that property or land. Utilizing land for public use is pursuing the public interest. The local government should not take a person’s property under any other circumstance. Condemning such property in order to sell it to real estate developers for private use is against the eminent domain doctrine (Miller, 2021). This is because private interests are served instead of public interests. Essentially, a warranty deed protects the owner of the property against any defect in the ownership of that property. It protects the owner’s interests in the property. In this regard, the warranty deed that Shoepke received when he purchased a home in Maine protected his property from any defect. He has the right of possessing it and using it the way he wants. The government has no power to take it and sell it to real-estate developers. Such an attempt would be unlawful. It would undermine the people’s liberty. Once Shoepke leases his property to a tenant, he has no authority over how the tenant uses the property. The tenant has the right to use the land. It is a landlord’s duty not to disturb the tenants as they use the property (Miller, 2021). Disturbing them is curtailing the enjoyment of the property they have leased. Nonetheless, the tenant has an obligation of keeping the leased property in a habitable situation (Miller, 2021). With this, Shoepke can hold Slater financially responsible for the damage to his property.


Miller, R. L. (2021). Business Law Today, Comprehensive.‎ Cengage Learning.


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