Finders Keepers
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Misplaced Property
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Misplaced property differs from both abandoned property and lost property. Let us recall that abandoned property is property that is intended to be discarded by the true owner, and lost property is property that is lost involuntarily or accidentally by its rightful owner. Misplaced property, on the other hand, is property that is voluntarily and intentionally placed somewhere and is then forgotten about by the true owner. With regard to such property, the owner of the land on which the property is misplaced prevails. Let’s use an example to illustrate this rule.

Assume that Aaron takes his guitar to the shop to have the strings replaced. He takes his wallet out of his pocket and gets his credit card out to pay for the service provided by the music shop. As he swipes his credit cards (as so many feisty Americans do), he sets his wallet down on the counter. After paying for the service, he picks up his guitar and walks out of the shop, forgetting to pick his wallet up off of the counter. Bryan then walks in to look at guitars because he wants to start a band. He sees the wallet on the counter, and decides to take it. As he reaches for it, the owner of the music shop takes the wallet and puts it in his pocket. Here, the "finder" (Bryan) does not prevail. The person who prevails is the owner of the music shop. Of course, if Aaron walks back in and asks for his wallet, the owner must hand over the wallet to its rightful owner.

Finally, let's wrap up this article with a few key points to remember.

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