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Clark v. Maloney

    Citation3 Del. 68
    3 Del. 68

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Plaintiff sued Defendant in an action for trover over taken logs.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    The first finder of lost property has superior title to any other finder.

    Facts.

    Plaintiff Thomas Clark found 10 pine logs in the Delaware bay. He tied the logs to the mouth of the Mispillion Creek. Defendants John Maloney and Robert Maloney later took possession of the logs, arguing that they found the logs adrift and floating. Plaintiff sued Defendant in an action for trover.

    Issue.

    Whether the first finder of lost property has superior title to any other finder.

    Held.

    Yes

    Dissent.

    N/A

    Concurrence.

    N/A

    Discussion.

    In this case, Plaintiff removed the logs and tied the logs at the mouth of the Mispillion Creek. Plaintiff showed a special property interest in the logs, that was never abandoned. Plaintiff’s loss of the logs did not affect his property interest and is entitled to a verdict in his favor. , because This property interest allows Clark to exclude all individuals except the rightful owner from the possession of the logs.


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