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Property Law Keyed to Cribbet
Village of Valatie v. Smith
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*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
The Plaintiff sought to enforce a law under which mobile homes were to be restricted to mobile home parks as of 1968, but that any mobile homes which were not in mobile home parks at that time were allowed to continue being used until the land or the mobile home was sold or transferred. When both parties moved for summary judgment in the trial court, the court granted the Defendant’s motion and denied the Plaintiff’s motion, reasoning that the right to continue a nonconforming use was a right, which ran with the land. The trial court held that the portion of the ordinance which set the termination of nonconforming use at the time of transfer to be unconstitutional. The intermediate appellate court affirmed the trial court, and acknowledged that while a municipality had the authority to phase out nonconforming uses with an “amortization period,” the particular law in question was unreasonable and unconstitutional because the period of time bears no relationship to the use of la nd or the investment in that use. The Plaintiff appealed.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.