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SHORT-ANSWER QUESTIONS

Chapter 2

TWO TYPES OF NON-REAL PROPERTY: PERSONAL PROPERTY AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

  1. Oscar was the owner of a very valuable painting, “Rosewood.” In 1980, Rosewood was stolen from Oscar’s home. Oscar reported the theft to the police, collected insurance proceeds, and made no further efforts to locate the painting. (For example, he did not report the theft to a national information bank that lists stolen paintings, nor did he notify local art dealers.) In 1983, unbeknownst to Oscar, Anita, an art collector, “bought” Rosewood from a private gallery for $10,000. (This price was approximately the fair market value of the painting at the time, on the assumption that there was clear title.) The galley showed Anita documents indicating that the gallery had the right to sell the painting, and Anita had no reason to believe the painting to be stolen.

Anita proudly displayed the painting at her house for the next 25 years. Even though Anita and Oscar lived in the same town, Oscar did not learn of Anita’s possession of the painting until 2012, when a friend happened to mention it to him. The local statute of limitations on actions to recover personal property is 10 years. Assuming that the state follows the “modern” rule regarding when the statute of limitations on stolen personal property begins to run, if Oscar sues Anita in 2012, may he recover the painting from her? _______________

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