The specific concern of this paper, will be the case of salvaged TBD-1 Devastator, a rare Navy aircraft recovered 20 miles off the coast of Florida, in 500 feet of water, and estimated to have a value of one or two million dollars once restored. This paper will begin with a definition of lost, misplaces, or abandoned property, and proceed to discuss the history of property ownership laws, speculate on the reasons for differences in property ownership laws, the rights of individual or organization recovering federal property. It will conclude with a summary of the effect on private business when attempting to claim federal property.
What are the differences among lost, misplaced, and abandoned property?
Property is considered lost when its owner negligently, carelessly, or inadvertently leaves it somewhere. Property is mislaid when its owner voluntarily places the property somewhere and then inadvertently forgets it. Property is classified as abandoned if (1) an owner discards the property with the intent to relinquish his or her right in it or (2) an owner of mislaid or lost property gives up any further attempts to locate it.
The difference between the three forms is how the property can be claimed or taken possession of. Property that is mislaid or lost can be reclaimed by the rightful owner. A finder who refuses to return the property is liable for the tort of conversion and the crime of larceny. Anyone who finds abandoned property acquires title to it. The title is good against the whole world, including the original owner.
Putting aside the fact that this plane is federal property, is this plane lost, misplaced, or abandoned?
This is quite an unusually circumstance. The owner did not intend to leave the plane in that location, but because of the circumstances (the plane crashed...