Faculty Scholarship

The Phenomenon of Substitution and the Statute of Quia Emptores

Ronald Benton Brown


Ronald Brown, The Phenomenon of Substitution and the Statute of Quia Emptores, 46 Saint Louis University Law Journal 699 (2002). Law students generally think that American property law is a confusing mix of unconnected, inconsistent and nearly incomprehensible rules. In fact, an overview of property law reveals a recurring pattern. In numerous situations, a successor in title takes the place of his or her predecessor regarding rights and responsibilities that are related to ownership of that land. That process is called substitution because the successor is substituted for the predecessor regarding those rights and responsibilities. But sometimes substitution happens automatically and other times it happens only if that is the parties' intent. Automatic substitution seems to follow the pattern established by the ancient Statute of Quia Emptores. Property students would benefit if substitution was taught as a singular concept that explains the connection between the various examples and statutes in Property that concern substitution.