Bar Exam (US) Property: X, Y, and Z are the owners of three contiguous lots in the City of Palm ...

Question

X, Y, and Z are the owners of three contiguous lots in the City of Palm Grove. A downward slope exists from X's land to Z's land.

X's and Y's lots were in an unimproved natural state. Z, however, had lived for ten years in a house which he had built on his property.

In 1990, X planted trees and shrubbery on his land along the boundary of Y's lot.

In 1991, Y, in preparation for building a house on his lot, carefully made an excavation eight feet deep for the purpose of building a basement. The west side of the excavation, which was five feet east of the X-Y boundary, suddenly collapsed and a quantity of X's soil, trees, and shrubbery fell into the hole. Y hauled away the debris.

Y completed construction of his house and macadamized an area for use as a driveway, without changing the former contours of the land. Shortly thereafter, Z began to make complaints to Y about the flooding of his basement, which he claimed had been previously free of water.

Assume for the purposes of this question only that Z builds a concrete wall three feet along his border with Y to prevent the flow of rain water running onto his land from Y's property. This causes the surface water to stand and become stagnant on the northerly corner of Y's land. Y demanded that Z remove the wall and upon Z's refusal, Y brought an appropriate action to compel removal. The most likely result is

AnswerChoose the correct answer.Choose all that apply. Correct Partially correct Incorrect Don't Know

  1. A
    Correct Answer
    Z must remove the wall because he has no right to obstruct the flow of such surface water
  2. B
    Correct Answer
    Z must remove the wall at Y's expense
  3. C
    Correct Answer
    Z may leave the wall without being liable to Y for money damages
  4. D
    Correct Answer
    Z may leave the wall but he will be liable to Y for money damages
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