Property - Finder's law question

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jessuf
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Property - Finder's law question

Postby jessuf » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:56 pm

My textbook, notes, and supplements seem to contradict each other. Who has superior rights to lost property, abandoned property, mislaid property, and treasure trove? Assume O is the original owner, A is the finder, and B is the landowner of the land on which the item was found.

lobolawyer
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Re: Property - Finder's law question

Postby lobolawyer » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:59 pm

Finders keepers, losers weepers. :mrgreen: I think it also depends on whether the property was mislaid or abandoned.

ETA: I only read the thread title before posting. Gilbert's has a good outline for this particular question, and I have one too. Unfortunately, I'm too bored to look for it right now. I'll check back after I get wasted for the end of the school year party and I should have some motivation to give a helpful answer then.

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jessuf
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Re: Property - Finder's law question

Postby jessuf » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:06 pm

I'm asking

(1) If lost, who has superior rights?
(2) If abandoned, who has superior rights?
(3) If mislaid, who has superior rights?
(4) If treasure trove, who has superior rights?

for each scenario given the three different possible people (original owner, finder, landowner). Does that make sense?

My notes say:
Abandoned: finder
Lost: owner but if finder goes through procedure listed in statute and no owner appears, then finder (UNLESS the object was in landowner's house or buried, then landowner).
Mislaid: owner but if landowner goes through procedure listed in statute and no owner appears, then landowner (over finder via constructive possession)
Treasure trove: owner but if finder goes through procedure listed in statute and no owner appears, then finder. (UNLESS if buried on landowner's land or in his house, then landowner).

Can someone correct whatever is wrong?

lobolawyer
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Re: Property - Finder's law question

Postby lobolawyer » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:14 pm

Jessuf wrote:I'm asking

(1) If lost, who has superior rights?
(2) If abandoned, who has superior rights?
(3) If mislaid, who has superior rights?
(4) If treasure trove, who has superior rights?

for each scenario given the three different possible people (original owner, finder, landowner). Does that make sense?

My notes say:
Abandoned: finder
Lost: owner but if finder goes through procedure listed in statute and no owner appears, then finder (UNLESS the object was in landowner's house or buried, then landowner).
Mislaid: owner but if landowner goes through procedure listed in statute and no owner appears, then landowner (over finder via constructive possession)
Treasure trove: owner but if finder goes through procedure listed in statute and no owner appears, then finder. (UNLESS if buried on landowner's land or in his house, then landowner).

Can someone correct whatever is wrong?


If memory serves me right you're on point with some slight variations for treasure trove. There are special maritime laws, i.e., US holds title to any ship found in its territory & transfers it to a state if found there. There's also the old treasure trove rule where it goes to the Gov/King, but that rule probably has seen its twilight. Also, don't forget the equitable solution that happened in the Bonds case with his 73rd HR (not old enough to be treasure trove, but you might find some policy stuff here if your prof likes that sort of ish).

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romothesavior
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Re: Property - Finder's law question

Postby romothesavior » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:51 pm

lobolawyer wrote:Finders keepers, losers weepers.

Came here to make this joke. Leaving disappointed.

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TTH
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Re: Property - Finder's law question

Postby TTH » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:54 pm

Aww man, I sort of forgot how big of a piece of shit class property is. TYFT.

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piccolittle
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Re: Property - Finder's law question

Postby piccolittle » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:33 am

Jessuf wrote:I'm asking

(1) If lost, who has superior rights?
(2) If abandoned, who has superior rights?
(3) If mislaid, who has superior rights?
(4) If treasure trove, who has superior rights?

for each scenario given the three different possible people (original owner, finder, landowner). Does that make sense?

My notes say:
Abandoned: finder
Lost: owner but if finder goes through procedure listed in statute and no owner appears, then finder (UNLESS the object was in landowner's house or buried, then landowner).
Mislaid: owner but if landowner goes through procedure listed in statute and no owner appears, then landowner (over finder via constructive possession)
Treasure trove: owner but if finder goes through procedure listed in statute and no owner appears, then finder. (UNLESS if buried on landowner's land or in his house, then landowner).

Can someone correct whatever is wrong?


From what I understand...

Abandoned: finder obtains both possession and title if he exercises control over property w/ intent to assert ownership
Lost: finder entitled to possession against all but true owner (Exceptions: F is trespasser, employee, guest, or licensee, or if property is found in highly private locus or buried - owner of locus gets possessor rights)
Mislaid: owner has best claim, landowner keeps as bailee; same as above
Treasure trove: finder (subject to any special jurisdictional provisions) - really depends on classification (e.g. mislaid or abandoned?)

Not sure if that helps; I think what you have is pretty much right but I wanted to write it all down as an exercise for myself :)

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jessuf
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Re: Property - Finder's law question

Postby jessuf » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:52 am

piccolittle wrote:From what I understand...

Abandoned: finder obtains both possession and title if he exercises control over property w/ intent to assert ownership
Lost: finder entitled to possession against all but true owner (Exceptions: F is trespasser, employee, guest, or licensee, or if property is found in highly private locus or buried - owner of locus gets possessor rights)
Mislaid: owner has best claim, landowner keeps as bailee; same as above
Treasure trove: finder (subject to any special jurisdictional provisions) - really depends on classification (e.g. mislaid or abandoned?)

Not sure if that helps; I think what you have is pretty much right but I wanted to write it all down as an exercise for myself :)


This looks good. Thanks!

hijodehombre
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Re: Property - Finder's law question

Postby hijodehombre » Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:16 pm

Jessuf wrote:
piccolittle wrote:From what I understand...

Abandoned: finder obtains both possession and title if he exercises control over property w/ intent to assert ownership
Lost: finder entitled to possession against all but true owner (Exceptions: F is trespasser, employee, guest, or licensee, or if property is found in highly private locus or buried - owner of locus gets possessor rights)
Mislaid: owner has best claim, landowner keeps as bailee; same as above
Treasure trove: finder (subject to any special jurisdictional provisions) - really depends on classification (e.g. mislaid or abandoned?)

Not sure if that helps; I think what you have is pretty much right but I wanted to write it all down as an exercise for myself :)


This looks good. Thanks!


I noticed the same contradictions. This is how I eventually put it together, mostly from Sprankling's Understanding hornbook.

1. Property is lost when the owner involuntarily and unintentionally parts with it.
a. The general rule is that a finder of lost property is entitled to it as against all but the true owner. The rationale for this rule is to give the finder an incentive to put the object to valuable use, instead of hiding it.
1) However, an object found by an employee during the scope of his employment is awarded to the employer.
2) Similarly, lost objects found within a house or embedded in the soil are generally awarded to the landowner, not the finder,
a) but the status of the finder may be relevant, for example, if the finder is a tenant.

2. Property is mislaid when the owner voluntarily and knowingly places it somewhere, but then unintentionally forgets about it. The general rule is to award the mislaid property to the owner of the locus in quo. The rationale for this rule is that the owner is the person most likely to ensure its return to the true owner.

3. Property is abandoned when the owner intentionally and voluntarily relinquishes all right, title, and interest in it.

4. Gold, silver, currency, or the like concealed in the distant past is considered treasure trove.

atlsntellect
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Re: Property - Finder's law question

Postby atlsntellect » Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:45 am

Not sure if the above was answered (I have not slept in 24 hours preparing for this open book exam).

Lost Property – owner unintentionally parts with the property and does not know where it is. True owner retains title to lost property found by another – finder has good title if rightfully on the land against everyone but the true owner except in some cases where owner of premises where property found gains constructive possession through rationale soli –

true owner --> first finder (unless trespasser) --> everyone else

Mislaid Property – owner places item somewhere intending to maintain ownership but then forgets it (i.e. set purse on counter and walks out without it) - True owner retains title to lost property found by another and landowner (bailee – person holding property in trust for another) has better title than finder because true owner can potentially trace steps back and recover the item –

true owner --> bailee (property owner) --> first finder (bailor)

Abandoned Property – owner intentionally relinquishes all rights, title and interest in the property – finder has better title than former true owner and if the finder is rightfully on the land, often has better title than landowner.

First finder (unless trespasser) --> everyone else/true owner.

FINDER V. LANDOWNER- WHO GETS IT
1. Within a house – awarded to landowner, not the finder unless landowner is absent/does not live in house or finder is long-term
tenant (Hannah)
2. Embedded in Ground – object awarded to landowner, not finder (Elwes/South Straffordshire)
3. Open, public area – object might be awarded to the finder (Bridges)
4. Finder = landowner’s employee – landowner wins
5. Finder = landowner’s lessee – landowner wins

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jessuf
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Re: Property - Finder's law question

Postby jessuf » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:34 am

All of this was really helpful, thanks. I think some of the supplements oversimplify things (aka not talking about items embedded in soil or found in a house), which is what got me all confused.




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