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Property I
Valparaiso University School of Law
Whitton, Linda S.

I. Law of Finders
A. Lost Property = Involuntarily place & owner is not aware it is gone => Finder
1. Finder must have Dominion and Control
2. Finder, unless
a. Very private place
b. Owner of locus had actual or constructive prior possession
c. Finder is a Trespasser
d. Finder is in master-servant
e. True owner shows up = Finder’s title is good against whole world except True Owner
B. Mislaid = Voluntarily place & forgotten => Owner of the locus in Quo
– Better secures the rights of the true owner
C. Abandoned = Voluntarily and Intentionally placed w/ no intention to return => Finder
– Good against whole world including old owner
D. Treasure Trove = Hidden $$, gold, silver, etc
1. Old
a. Buried w/ intent to return => state
b. Buried w/o intent to return => finder
2. Modern in US => Finder
E. Shipwreck => Salvage reward to Finder, traditionally
1. US Territorial Waters, if abandoned => State
2. US Territorial Waters, if not abandoned => Salvage Award to Finder
II. Bailments = rightful possession of goods by a person (the bailee) who is not the true owner
A. Elements
1. Exclusive Control / Possession
2. Exclusive Access to the Chattels
3. INTENT to Control or Exclude
B. Types
1. Voluntary – bailor gives good to bailee
2. Involuntary – found property
a. All finders == bailees
b. All owners =/= bailors
C. Standard of Care
1. Gratuitous Bailments
a. Strictly for Benefit of Bailor
b. Slight care & gross negligence
2. Mutual Benefit Bailment
a. Mutual benefit, duh
b. Ordinary Care & Ordinary Negligence
3. Bailee’s Benefit
a. Strictly for Benefit of Bailee
b. Great care & slight negligence
4. MODERN => Reasonable Care under circumstances for all 3
D. Responsibilities of Bailee

2. Delivery
a. Actual – if can be handed, it must be
b. Constructive – giving access
c. Symbolic
3. Acceptance
B. Types
1. Inter Vivos = between living
a. Delivery must be best for situation
2. Causa Mortis = in contemplation of impending or imminent death
a. Substitute for will
b. Donor lives => revoked
c. Re-delivery necessary if donee already in possession
V. Possessory Estates
– Estate = degree, quantity, nature, & extent of an interest a person has in real or personal property
1. Present or Future Possessory Interest
2. Duration
A. Fee Simple = Absolute Ownership – largest (can last for ever)
1. Alienable, Devisable, and Descendable (ADD)