Property Question - Creation

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jack99
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:36 pm

Property Question - Creation

Postby jack99 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:41 pm

How does it work? If person A finds person B's seemingly abandoned 10+ year old car lying in the middle of nowhere and improves it by replacing parts and giving it a new paint job, how does the concept of acquisition by creation come in if the FMV of the car rises from say $1,000 to $7,000 as a result of the improvements? If B returns one day and claims he has title to the car, what happens? Does the addition of labor/materials essentially create a new product? Can B argue that because the "old car" is still a component of this new property (and thus inseverable) that he deserves compensation for the value of the car before improvement?

Omerta
Posts: 381
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:47 pm

Re: Property Question - Creation

Postby Omerta » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:48 pm

That's not creation that's a find. Seems pretty abandoned to me. Look to B's intent. Where was the car? Side of the road or in a field? A car in that condition doesn't sound like it was lost or mislaid (and in that case owner would have superior title anyway).

If abandoned, then A gets the car free and clear. If A did something stupid and took the car without permission or something, then he's SOL and gets nothing.

jack99
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:36 pm

Re: Property Question - Creation

Postby jack99 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:59 pm

Omerta wrote:That's not creation that's a find. Seems pretty abandoned to me. Look to B's intent. Where was the car? Side of the road or in a field? A car in that condition doesn't sound like it was lost or mislaid (and in that case owner would have superior title anyway).

If abandoned, then A gets the car free and clear. If A did something stupid and took the car without permission or something, then he's SOL and gets nothing.



But let's change the scenario slightly. Say it's a valuable museum artifact that looked abandoned, but had been stolen. This time, A improved it as before and objectively and reasonably thought it had been. If B took A to court and showed that he was really the true owner and never showed the subjective intent to abandon it, what then? Is it possible to create an equitable interest, i.e. a co-ownership?

dakatz
Posts: 2460
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:19 pm

Re: Property Question - Creation

Postby dakatz » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:02 pm

jack99 wrote:
Omerta wrote:That's not creation that's a find. Seems pretty abandoned to me. Look to B's intent. Where was the car? Side of the road or in a field? A car in that condition doesn't sound like it was lost or mislaid (and in that case owner would have superior title anyway).

If abandoned, then A gets the car free and clear. If A did something stupid and took the car without permission or something, then he's SOL and gets nothing.



But let's change the scenario slightly. Say it's a valuable museum artifact that looked abandoned, but had been stolen. This time, A improved it as before and objectively and reasonably thought it had been. If B took A to court and showed that he was really the true owner and never showed the subjective intent to abandon it, what then? Is it possible to create an equitable interest, i.e. a co-ownership?


As far as we learned in my property class, if there is an inseparable improvement (but not so huge an improvement as to essentially change the very nature of the item), then the true owner can reclaim his property, and the finder/improver would only have a claim for unjust enrichment. However, if we were talking about someone losing the artifact, and someone does something to it to change its very nature or increase its value by a HUGE amount, the finder/improver would likely get to keep the item, and it would be the true owner who would be left with the claim for unjust enrichmint. I didn't learn anything about co-ownership, so the extent of my knowledge would be situations in which only one person can keep it.

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: Property Question - Creation

Postby Renzo » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:06 pm

dakatz wrote:
jack99 wrote:
Omerta wrote:That's not creation that's a find. Seems pretty abandoned to me. Look to B's intent. Where was the car? Side of the road or in a field? A car in that condition doesn't sound like it was lost or mislaid (and in that case owner would have superior title anyway).

If abandoned, then A gets the car free and clear. If A did something stupid and took the car without permission or something, then he's SOL and gets nothing.



But let's change the scenario slightly. Say it's a valuable museum artifact that looked abandoned, but had been stolen. This time, A improved it as before and objectively and reasonably thought it had been. If B took A to court and showed that he was really the true owner and never showed the subjective intent to abandon it, what then? Is it possible to create an equitable interest, i.e. a co-ownership?


As far as we learned in my property class, if there is an inseparable improvement (but not so huge an improvement as to essentially change the very nature of the item), then the true owner can reclaim his property, and the finder/improver would only have a claim for unjust enrichment. However, if we were talking about someone losing the artifact, and someone does something to it to change its very nature or increase its value by a HUGE amount, the finder/improver would likely get to keep the item, and it would be the true owner who would be left with the claim for unjust enrichmint. I didn't learn anything about co-ownership, so the extent of my knowledge would be situations in which only one person can keep it.


This is right. The party with the larger claim gets the item, and the other party has a claim for unjust enrichment for the value of the improvement (or the unimproved object, depending on which way it goes).

jack99
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:36 pm

Re: Property Question - Creation

Postby jack99 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:24 pm

Renzo wrote:
dakatz wrote:
jack99 wrote:
Omerta wrote:That's not creation that's a find. Seems pretty abandoned to me. Look to B's intent. Where was the car? Side of the road or in a field? A car in that condition doesn't sound like it was lost or mislaid (and in that case owner would have superior title anyway).

If abandoned, then A gets the car free and clear. If A did something stupid and took the car without permission or something, then he's SOL and gets nothing.



But let's change the scenario slightly. Say it's a valuable museum artifact that looked abandoned, but had been stolen. This time, A improved it as before and objectively and reasonably thought it had been. If B took A to court and showed that he was really the true owner and never showed the subjective intent to abandon it, what then? Is it possible to create an equitable interest, i.e. a co-ownership?


As far as we learned in my property class, if there is an inseparable improvement (but not so huge an improvement as to essentially change the very nature of the item), then the true owner can reclaim his property, and the finder/improver would only have a claim for unjust enrichment. However, if we were talking about someone losing the artifact, and someone does something to it to change its very nature or increase its value by a HUGE amount, the finder/improver would likely get to keep the item, and it would be the true owner who would be left with the claim for unjust enrichmint. I didn't learn anything about co-ownership, so the extent of my knowledge would be situations in which only one person can keep it.


This is right. The party with the larger claim gets the item, and the other party has a claim for unjust enrichment for the value of the improvement (or the unimproved object, depending on which way it goes).




Makes sense. So the side claiming for unjust enrichment would have to come up with a fair market value for the unjust enrichment.




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