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McAvoy v. Medina

Law Dictionary
CASE BRIEFS

Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Property Law Keyed to Cribbet

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 93 Mass. 548, 11 Allen 548 (1866)

Brief Fact Summary. Plaintiff was a customer at Defendant’s barber shop and found a pocket-book on the counter which he left with Defendant to attempt to discover the rightful owner. When the rightful owner was not found, Plaintiff demanded return of the pocket-book, which Defendant refused to give back.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. When a customer leaves a pocket-book on the counter of a shop the item is not subject to the historical rules regarding lost property.


Facts. Plaintiff was a customer at Defendant’s barber shop and found a pocket-book on the counter which he left with Defendant so that Defendant could attempt to discover the rightful owner. When the rightful owner was not found, Plaintiff demanded the pocket-book which Defendant refused to give back. Plaintiff left the pocket-book with Defendant for Defendant to find the rightful owner and to advertise so that the owner might be found. Plaintiff made three demands for return of the pocket-book from Defendant, who denied that he possessed the pocket-book until the last. The parties agreed that the pocket-book was placed on the counter by a customer of Defendant’s barber shop and was accidentally left there, that Plaintiff fist saw the pocket-book and picked it up, and that the rightful owner was not found. Plaintiff sued for the return of the money found in the pocket-book. The lower court ruled for Defendant and Plaintiff appealed.

Issue. Was this property lost in such a manner as to allow the finder of the item to hold a valid claim of ownership against all except the rightful owner?

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