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Robins Island Preservation Fund, Inc. v. Southold Development Corporation

United State Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
959 F.2d 409 (1992)


In 1715, Joseph Wickham, Sr. purchased Robins Island, an island off the coast of Long Island. When he did so, he created an estate tail. In 1754, Parker Wickham inherited the island. The island was confiscated from him in 1779 by the State of New York, because Parker was loyal to Great Britain during the Revolutionary War. Over two hundred years later, Robins Island Preservation Fund, Inc. (plaintiff) claimed a 75 percent interest in the island, tracing its interest back to Parker Wickham. They argued that the island was still in the possession of the British at the time the confiscation was said to have taken place, and therefore was not properly completed. Southold Development Corporation (defendant) argued that its title originated through the State of New York’s seizure of the property. Robins then brought suit to prevent Southold from using the land for development. The district court determined that New York’s title was valid, and therefore, Southold was entitled to the land. Robins then appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Altimari, C.J.)

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