Finder of abandoned property is entitled to not only possession of theproperty, but also ownership of it against all others3. A finder prevails in claims of property against all but the true owner or prior possessory1. Property is relative 1. Possession is only prima facie evidence of ownership, may be rebutted byevidence of better claims of title2. Exceptions:1. Claim one who finds property while trespassing2. Landowner has superior claim over a find made within the non-publicareas of his property, but if on public part of property finder wouldhave superior claim over landowner3. Hannah v Peel 1. General rule is that homeowners are awarded items found intheir home1. Owner occupants have a strong expectation ofownership2. Court has desire to reward Hannah in the case andbecause Peel never occupied the home, he only hadconstructive possession, where as Peel living in thehome had actual possession3. Hannah was not able to pass title to another becausehe didn’t hold title1. Received possessory right, which is short ofownership2. Has the responsibility to return to the ownerupon request in the condition received 2. Prior possessors are protected 1. Protection brings back lost items into commerce which benefits society andincreases chance that the owner will recover the lost item4. To determine ownership, courts classify property as 1. Lost1. Personal property whose possession has been unintentionally and involuntarilyparted with AND the owner does not know where to find it1. Owners who lose their personal property retain their ownership rightsunless they intentionally relinquish them2. Finders merely acquire right to possess property and must give back totrue owner if they appear 3. Lost property found on public property is generally given to thefinder because owner does not have constructive possession over allproperty lost/abandoned by customers
1. If mislaid, property owner is to facilitate return to customer,but If the finder is an employee of the premises where chattelfound, employee can’t keep chattel2. If finder is on land for a limited purpose, owner of the land isentitled to chattels found therein3. If chattel found in private home or other private place, ownerof the premises gets the object 1. Interest of chattel found on private property variesdepending upon if found by 1. Landowner who has not moved into property 2. Landlord who has never resided on premises3. Long-term tenant; or4. A weekend guest 2. Goods embedded in soil are generally awarded tolandowner2. Mislaid1. Personal property voluntarily and knowingly placed somewhere andunintentionally forgotten3. Abandoned 1. Property voluntarily relinquished (owner surrenders all right, title, and interestto it1. Finder becomes its owner4.