Legal Subject: Property

Case Date Legal Subject Abstract
Allan v. Stewart 1773 Roads, Property, Servitude Sheep drovers commonly used a road through the properties of pursuers Joseph Allan and Alexander Morton to get to a sheep fair in Kilbride. Allan and Morton wanted to mitigate or stop the use of this road for the passage of sheep. Allan and Morton insisted that the sheep-drivers had no right to use this road because there were other routes available. They specifically alleged that another road to the west of Allan and Morton, called the "peat-road," was a suitable path. Defenders John Stewart and James Stewart were heritors of the lands that included this peat-road. John and James Stewart maintained that the peat-road is private, not public. They also claimed that Allan and Morton could not summon them into this case as defenders because Allan and Morton had no legal interest in the peat-road.
Bell v. Magistrates of Glasgow Aug 1776 Property Pursuer Patrick Bell was the proprietor of a piece of land called Bellshaugh or Provost Haugh, situated along the River Clyde near Glasgow Green. Additionally, Bell claimed to own a small strip of land that was used for access to Bellshaugh. The magistrates of Glasgow purchased property on either side of this strip and sought to enclose the entire area. Bell protested, and the magistrates proposed two possible solutions. First, citing an Act of Parliament, they offered to build a fence on either side of the road and charge Bell for half of the construction cost. Alternatively, they proposed to erect a gate that could be used to access the road. Bell refused both proposals, claiming that the cited statute did not apply and that he had an absolute right to exclude the magistrates. The magistrates maintained that either accommodation—the fence or the gate—would be reasonable and equitable; they also suggested that Bell might only hold a servitude.
Dover v. Forsyth 1784 Property, Sale Agnes Dover, pursuer, alleged that she had made a verbal agreement with Thomas Forsyth regarding a parcel in the village of Glenluce. Under this agreement, Dover would transfer her right to the parcel in exchange for a sale price and payment of a feu duty associated with the property. According to Dover, Forsyth paid part of the sale price and began building a house on the parcel, but he became bankrupt before the house was completed; Forsyth failed to pay the balance of the price or the feu duty. Dover sued Forsyth to recover either the money Forsyth allegedly owed her or, in the alternative, possession of the parcel. In response, the factor on Forsyth’s sequestrated estate argued that Dover should be required to pay for the improvements Forsyth made to the property.
Forbes v. Home 1772 Construction, Property Sir William Forbes, along with many others, were proprietors of feus (a type of land tenure) in the extended royalty of the city of Edinburgh. The properties at issue were located on Princes Street, George Street, Queen Street, and near St. Andrew's Square. Forbes and his fellow pursuers claimed that the town council had imposed some sort of restrictive covenant, prohibiting construction south of Princes Street, which would have given them an unobstructed view from their properties. John Homes and his fellow defenders secured permission, apparently from the town council, to construct houses, warehouses, and other buildings south of Princes Street. Forbes and the other pursuers sought to stop the construction while the defenders argued that they had permission to build.
Hately v. Dunlop 1771 Property, Encroachment Pursuer Joseph Hately was an engineer who specialized in coal mining. In May 1770 Hately obtained a tack (lease) of coal in the lands of Hutchison near Glasgow. Defender Colin Dunlop was a merchant in Glasgow who also worked in the coal trade. Hately accused Dunlop and his business partner Alexander Houston of trying to monopolize the Glaswegian coal trade. Hately was able to sell his coal at a lower price than Dunlop and Houston, who owned adjoining coal property in the lands of Carmyle. Dunlop accused Hately of encroaching upon his lands, petitioned the local sheriff of Lanark to allow three of his servants to inspect Hately's mines. Hately maintained that he did not encroached on Dunlop's property and only wanted to protect his interest in the coal-trade. Hately then sought the appointment of a land-surveyor, who was not a coallier or connected with the coal trade, to evaluate the land.
M'Whinnie v. Goldie 1802 Estate, Freeholder, Property William M'Whinnie had claimed to be enrolled in the roll of freeholders of Kirkcudbright, and had presented documents to support his ownership of the estate of Dunjarg in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright. At the meeting of the Kirkcudbright freeholders, Major-General thomas Goldie objected to M'Whinnie's enrollment, arguing that there was no evidence that the lands of Dunjarg were a five-merk land of old extent, and also that the title Mr. M'Whinnie claimed was nominal and fictitious due to the fact that the name of the estate was spelled differently in the older documents. Due to an indisposition, Mr. M'Whinnie was not at the meeting, and could not answer the accusations. Major-General Goldie believed that Mr. M'Whinnie was not in ill health, but had missed the meeting intentionally to avoid interrogation. The freeholders decided against enrolling him due to his absence, and Mr. M'Whinnie then took the case to the Lords of Council and Session, including written answers to the freeholders' questions. In his reply to the petition, Major-General Goldie requested that the Court ordain Mr. M'Whinnie to undergo oral examination and answer the interrogatory accusations in person as to the integrity of his claim upon the Dunjarg estate, because he believed that Mr. M'Whinnie had commissioned others to draft his responses for him.
Officers of State v. Thomas 12 Nov 1802 Teind, Rent, Improvement, Property The Officers of State represent a renter who lived on the property of the Earl of Selkirk. The renter claimed that he had made improvements on the land, and was thus entitled to a deduction in his rental teinds because of the expenses he incurred in making these improvements. The Earl of Selkirk argued that only permanent improvements should be entitled to deductions, and that improvements such as laying manure for crops and adding lime to the soil were temporary and were paid off in the profits yielded by a higher crop. Marginalia on the front page of the first document notes that the court found that the pursuer was not entitled to any deduction in the rental teinds.
Wilson and Scott v. Alexander 1779 Damages, Property, Animal Welfare, Trespass, Boni Mores In November 1777, Jean Alexander of Rosebank had some nux vomica (strychnine) put into her swine and poultry's meat. A few days later her neighbor James Wilson's dog died "after suffering the greatest agony." After Wilson discovered that his dog was likely poisoned by his neighbor, he confronted her and she responded with contempt, saying that the poison had been to stop her livestock's food being eaten by his dog. Wilson, filed a complaint with the Sheriff of Edinburgh, who found the complaint relevant. Alexander then brought the process by advocation to the Court, and Lord Westhall assoilzied (absolved) her, determining that she was entitled to lay poison in her property in order to protect it. Wilson then petitioned the Court to alter this interlocutor. His advocate, David Armstrong, argued that Alexander's actions had gone against the common good, and that Alexander should have trusted in the law to protect her from Wilson's dog. In response, Alexander said there was no proof that her poison had caused the dog's death, and that even if it had, "what she did she was entitled to do in virtue of her right of property, and in defence of that property." She also disputed the basis of Wilson's claim to damages - that his dog was valuable to him as, among other things, a protection from thieves. Finally, in an illuminating turn of events, Alexander responded to a rumor that she had also poisoned the Duke of Buccleuch's dog. Rather, the defender insisted, Buccleuch's dog had been killed by a mob at Loanhead.