# Finder.cls

HIERARCHY

Ch          "the Chancery Division of the English High Court"
= KB          "the King's Bench Division of the English High Court"
= QB          "the Queen's Bench Division of the English High Court"

AREA            Finder

RESULTS

Win         "the finder wins"
Lose        "the finder loses"

ATTRIBUTE       % finder was occupier

QUESTION    "Was the finder the occupier of the premises where the chattel
was found"
YES         "the finder was the occupier of the premises where the chattel
was found"
NO          "the finder was not the occupier of the premises where the
chattel was found"
UNKNOWN     "it is not known whether the finder was the occupier of the
premises where the chattel was found"

ATTRIBUTE       % chattel was attached

QUESTION    "Was the chattel attached to the land or premises where it was
found"
YES         "the chattel was attached"
NO          "the chattel was not attached"
UNKNOWN     "it is not known whether the chattel was attached"

ATTRIBUTE       % non-finder owned premises

QUESTION    "Was the other claimant (the non-finder) the owner of the
premises where the chattel was found"
YES         "the other claimant was the owner of the premises where the
chattel was found"
NO          "the other claimant was not the owner of the premises where
the chattel was found"
UNKNOWN     "it is not known whether the other claimant was the owner of
the premises where the chattel was found"

ATTRIBUTE       % non-finder owned chattel

QUESTION    "Was the other claimant the true owner of the chattel or
did she/he claim through the rights of the true owner"
YES         "the other claimant was the true owner of the chattel or was
claiming through the rights of the true owner"
NO          "the other claimant was not the true owner of the chattel and
was not claiming through the rights of the true owner"
UNKNOWN     "it is not known whether the other claimant was the true owner
of the chattel or was claiming through the rights of the true
owner"

ATTRIBUTE       % finder handed over chattel to non-finder

QUESTION    "Did the finder hand over the chattel to the other claimant
after the finding"
YES         "the finder handed over the chattel to the other claimant
after the finding"
NO          "the finder did not hand over the chattel to the other
claimant after the finding"
UNKNOWN     "it is not known whether the finder handed over the chattel to
the other claimant after the finding"

ATTRIBUTE       % agreement between finder and non-finder

QUESTION    "Did one of the parties rely on the terms of an agreement
made with the other which purported to give her/him the right
to the chattel"
YES         "one of the parties relied on the terms of an agreement
made with the other which purported to give her/him the right
to the chattel"
NO          "neither party relied on the terms of an agreement regarding
the right to the chattel"
UNKNOWN     "it is not known whether one of the parties relied on the
terms of an agreement regarding the right to the chattel"

ATTRIBUTE       % finder was servant of non-finder

QUESTION    "Was the finder a servant of the other claimant"
YES         "the finder was a servant of the other claimant"
NO          "the finder was not a servant of the other claimant"
UNKNOWN     "it is not known whether the finder was a servant of the other
claimant"

ATTRIBUTE       % chattel was hidden

QUESTION    "Was the chattel hidden or in a position so as to be difficult
to find"
YES         "the chattel was hidden or was in a position so as to be
difficult to find"
NO          "the chattel was not hidden and was not in a position so as to
be difficult to find"
UNKNOWN     "it is not known whether the chattel was hidden or was in a
position so as to be difficult to find"

ATTRIBUTE       % attempt to find true owner or chattel clearly abandoned

QUESTION    "Was an attempt made to find the true owner of the chattel or,
alternatively, was the chattel clearly abandoned"
YES         "an attempt was made to find the true owner of the chattel or,
alternatively, the chattel was clearly abandoned"
NO          "no attempt was made to find the true owner of the chattel and
the chattel was not clearly abandoned"
UNKNOWN     "it is not known whether an attempt was made to find the true
owner of the chattel or whether the chattel was clearly
abandoned"

ATTRIBUTE       % prior knowledge of chattel

QUESTION    "Did either of the parties know of the existence of the
chattel prior to the finding"
YES         "one of the parties knew of the existence of the chattel prior
to the finding"
NO          "neither party knew of the existence of the chattel prior to
the finding"
UNKNOWN     "it is not known whether either of the parties knew of the
existence of the chattel prior to the finding"

CASE            "Armory v. Delamirie"

CITATION    "(1722) 1 Str 505; 93 ER 664"
YEAR        1722
COURT       KB
FACTS       (NNNNYNNNNY)
RESULT      Win

SUMMARY     "a chimney sweep found a jewel.  Although the report does not
expressly say so, most commentators assume that the jewel was
found in a chimney in the course of the sweep's occupation.
The jewel was handed to a goldsmith for appraisal who, under
the pretence of weighing it, extracted the stone from its
setting and offered the sweep three halfpence for it.  The
sweep refused the offer, but the goldsmith refused to return
the stone.  The goldsmith was held liable in trover and
ordered to return the stone to the sweep or, failing that, to
pay him a sum equivalent to what a stone of that size of
the finest water'' would be worth."

CASE            "Bridges v. Hawkesworth"

CITATION    "(1851) 21 LJQB 75"
YEAR        1851
COURT       QB
FACTS       (NNYNYNNNYN)
RESULT      Win

SUMMARY     "the plaintiff found a bundle of banknotes on the floor of the
public area of a shop.  He handed the notes to the shopkeeper
in order that the true owner of the notes might be found.
Although the owner was never found, the shopkeeper refused to
return the notes to the finder.  The Court found for the
finder, holding that there is a general right of [a] finder
to any article which has been lost as against all the world
except the true owner''.\footnote{ibid. at 77 per Patteson J.}
It was further noted that the notes had never been in the
custody of the shopkeeper nor within the protection of his
house as might be the case had they intentionally been
deposited there."

CASE            "Elwes v. Brigg Gas Co."
"Elwes v. Brigg"

CITATION    "(1886) 33 Ch D 562"
YEAR        1886
COURT       Ch
FACTS       (YYYNNYNYYN)
RESULT      Lose

SUMMARY     "a lessee of land found, during the course of some
excavations, an ancient boat buried in the soil.  The Court
held that the boat belonged to the owner of the land at the
time when the lease was granted since: (a) if the boat was
regarded as a part of the soil or as a mineral in the
soil, it was clearly a part of the land to which the
plaintiff was entitled; alternatively, (b) if the boat was
considered as a chattel, then the plaintiff was in lawful
possession of everything that lay beneath the surface.  Since
a trespasser could not have taken possession of the boat, it
followed that only the original owner could have a better
title, but obviously such rights could no longer be
established.\par

It followed from the above that the defendant's claim must
rest on the terms of the lease.  Although the lease
contemplated the excavations which were done, it was silent
as to what was to be done with the soil excavated.  It was
impossible to imply a term into the contract which would give
the defendant lessee the rights to the boat."

CASE            "South Staffordshire Water Co. v. Sharman"
"South Staffordshire v. Sharman"

CITATION    "[1896] 2 QB 44"
YEAR        1896
COURT       QB
FACTS       (NYYNNNYYYN)
RESULT      Lose

SUMMARY     "the defendant was a workman employed by the plaintiff to
clean out a pool located on land owned by the plaintiff.
During the operation the defendant found two gold rings
embedded in the mud at the bottom of the pool.  Although the
plaintiff demanded the rings, the defendant refused to give
them up.  He placed them in the hands of police authorities
who unsuccessfully endeavoured to find the owners of the
rings.  The police returned the rings to the defendant who
was then sued in detinue for the recovery of the rings.\par

It was proved at the trial that there was no special contract
between the parties which called upon the defendant to give
up any articles which might be found.\par

Although the county court held in favour of the defendant on
the basis of {\it Bridges v. Hawkesworth},\footnote{(1851)
21 LJQB 75.} the appeal found for the plaintiff on the basis
that it had, as owner of the land and pool, the right to
exercise control over the same.  {\it Bridges v.
Hawkesworth\/} was distinguished on the grounds that the
notes in that case were in a public part of the shop and the
shopkeeper did not in any sense control them.\par

The Court stated a general principle: where a person has
possession of a house or land with a manifest intention to
exercise control over it and the things which may be upon or
in it, then there is a presumption that things found there
are in the possession of the owner."

CASE            "Hannah v. Peel"

CITATION    "[1945] KB 509"
YEAR        1945
COURT       KB
FACTS       (NNYNNNNYYN)
RESULT      Win

SUMMARY     "a brooch was found by the plaintiff who was a lance-corporal
stationed in a house owned by the defendant.  The house had
been requisitioned by the army during the war and had never
been occupied by the defendant.\par

The plaintiff was adjusting the black-out curtains when he
touched something on the top of the window-frame.  He thought
the object to be a piece of dirt or plaster and he dropped it
on the outside window ledge.  On the following morning, he
saw that it was a brooch and, on the advice of his commanding
officer, turned it over to the police for the purpose of
finding the owner.  In the following year, the police
returned the brooch to the defendant who sold it to a
jeweller.  The plaintiff at all times maintained his rights
to the brooch against all persons other than the true
owner.\par

The Court found for the plaintiff on the basis of {\it
Bridges v. Hawkesworth\/}\footnote{(1851) 21 LJQB 75.} after
a thorough review of the authorities.  The Court further
noted that the defendant was never in possession of the
premises, that the brooch was never his, and that he had no
knowledge of it until it was brought to his notice by the
finder."

CASE            "City of London Corporation v. Appleyard (1)"
"London v. Appleyard (1)"

CITATION    "[1963] 1 WLR 982"
YEAR        1963
COURT       QB
FACTS       (NYNNNNYYYN)
RESULT      Lose

SUMMARY     "workmen employed by Wates Ltd were engaged in cutting a
key-way into a cellar wall for the purposes of securing a
foundation when they found an old wall-safe built into a
recess of the old wall.  Inside was a wooden box which
contained a large number of Bank of England notes.  The notes
were handed over to the City of London police who sought
interpleader proceedings to determine who was entitled to the
possession of the notes.\par

Wates Ltd was an independent contractor engaged by Yorkwin
Investments Ltd for a construction project.  Yorkwin was
lessee in possession of the property which was owned in fee
simple by the City of London.\par

The Court followed the decision in {\it South Staffordshire
Water Co. v. Sharman\/}\footnote{[1896] 2 QB 44.} in holding
that the occupier is, in the absence of a better title
elsewhere, entitled to the possession of objects which are
attached to or under the land.  Consequently, since the notes
were in a wooden box within a safe built into the wall of the
old building, the safe formed part of the demised premises.
Yorkwin, being in lawful possession of the premises, was in
{\it de facto\/} possession of the safe, even though ignorant
of its existence.\par

Although Yorkwin was entitled to possession as against the
finders, it in turn was displaced by the City of London which
relied successfully on a term in the lease which granted it
the right to certain objects found on the premises."

CASE            "City of London Corporation v. Appleyard (2)"
"London v. Appleyard (2)"

CITATION    "[1963] 1 WLR 982"
YEAR        1963
COURT       QB
FACTS       (YYYNYYNYYN)
RESULT      Lose

SUMMARY     "workmen employed by Wates Ltd were engaged in cutting a
key-way into a cellar wall for the purposes of securing a
foundation when they found an old wall-safe built into a
recess of the old wall.  Inside was a wooden box which
contained a large number of Bank of England notes.  The notes
were handed over to the City of London police who sought
interpleader proceedings to determine who was entitled to the
possession of the notes.\par

Wates Ltd was an independent contractor engaged by Yorkwin
Investments Ltd for a construction project.  Yorkwin was
lessee in possession of the property which was owned in fee
simple by the City of London.  The Court found that the safe
formed part of the demised premises and that, consequently,
Yorkwin was entitled to the notes as against the workmen.\par

The lease contained a clause which purported to grant the
rights to every relic or article of antiquity rarity or
value'' to the City of London.  The sole issue was to
determine if the notes fell into that description.  The Court
could find no reason for limiting the generality of the words
and so found for the City of London."

CASE            "Moffatt v. Kazana"

CITATION    "[1969] 2 QB 152"
YEAR        1967
COURT       QB
FACTS       (YNNYNNNYYY)
RESULT      Lose

SUMMARY     "the occupant of a house found a biscuit tin which contained
a large number of banknotes.  The tin was discovered during
the course of some work in the kitchen of the house.  To do
that work it was necessary to dislodge some bricks from a
point at which the main kitchen chimney joined a false flue.
The tin fell out when the bricks were dislodged.\par

It emerged from the evidence that the defendant occupant had
purchased the house from the previous plaintiff owner who had
secreted the tin of notes during the time before the current
owner had occupied the house.  In selling the bungalow, the
seller had wholly forgotten the existence of the tin and the
buyer was, of course, unaware of its existence.\par

The Court held that the conveyance of the house and land did
not suffice to convey the chattels in the house, a
consequence of s. 62 of the governing Law of Property Act
1965 (UK).  Consequently, the plaintiff remained the true
owner of the tin of notes and was entitled to prevail.\par

Although the decision depends upon the provisions of a
specific statute, it is clear that the true owners of
chattels may displace the {\it prima facie\/} title of the
owner of the land and the possessory title of any finder."


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