Torts: Personal Property: Finders

Finders – people who find property. Distinguish between property that has been abandoned and property has been lost.
  • Abandoned if original owner gives up possession + has intent to give up title and control. A finder becomes the new owner if he takes possession and has the intent to acquire title.
  • Lost property: accidentally part with possession + no intention to relinquish ownership. You’re always entitled to recover your own lost property.
  • “What are the rights of the finder?”
    • If you find property that has a value of under $20, you must make a reasonable effort to find the owner. If after 1 year, you have not found the owner, you get to keep the property.
    • For property worth more than $20: must be turned into police and must be held for a specified amount of time. If police hold object, and is not claimed during the specified time period, finder can come back and get it.