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South Staffordshire Water Co. v. Sharman

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. 2 Q.B. 44 (Queen’s Bench 1896).

Brief Fact Summary. Plaintiffs hired Defendants to clean a pool situated on Plaintiff’s land, within which, during the cleaning, Defendants found two gold rings and thereafter refused to give the rings to Plaintiffs.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. There is a presumption that whenever something is found on a person’s land, possession of that object is maintained by the landowner.


Facts. Plaintiffs owned land covered by the Minster Pool, which was in need of cleaning. Plaintiffs hired Defendant pool cleaners who performed the task along with several workmen. During the process, several items were found, including two gold rings. Plaintiff demanded the rings from the Defendant, who refused, and gave the rings over to the police so they could attempt to locate the true owner. Thereafter, the police were unsuccessful in finding the real owner and gave the rings back to Defendant. Plaintiffs sued in detinue for the recovery of the rings. The lower court found for Defendant on the basis of Armory v. Delamirie and Bridges v. Hawkesworth, infra, stating that the person who found the rings had good title against everyone except for the rightful owner. Plaintiff appealed.

Issue. Were the contents of the pool under the control of Plaintiffs such that Defendants could not maintain possession of the rings found in the pool?

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