Legal Question in Consumer Law in California

if you find a lost item on your own property can you keep it?

Asked on 3/06/13, 7:24 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Phillip D. Wheeler, Esq. Phillip D. Wheeler, Attorney At Law
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Not if you KNOW who it belongs to.

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3/06/13, 7:35 pm
Timothy McCormick Libris Solutions - Dispute Resolution Services
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The value of the item has some relevance and also how it got lost on your property as well. For example if a jeweler is driving in his car with diamonds in a case, and gets sideswiped and winds up off the road on your property. And when he gets out of the car the case falls out. You witness the whole thing, the police come and take a report. His car gets towed, etc. And then later that day you find the case at the crash scene, you really can't think you are entitled to keep the diamonds do you? On the other hand, say you are a farmer with some woods on his property that people have gone walking in for years and you don't mind. One day you are walking in the woods and find a money clip with $128 in it. Sure, you can keep that without worrying about being sued or prosecuted.

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3/07/13, 9:32 am
Timothy McCormick Libris Solutions - Dispute Resolution Services
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It is possible that I could give you a more complete answer and/or refer you to local resources if I knew where you are located. However, LawGuru for some unknown reason decided to stop asking questioners for their zip code. That makes it impossible for us attorneys answering questions to provide a location specific answer. In many cases what county or even city you are in is crucial to the help we can provide, especially if you are asking a Family Law, Real Estate, or Landlord/Tenant question. If you appreciate my providing you this free answer, please take a moment to contact LawGuru Support and complain about this. Thanks.

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3/07/13, 9:32 am

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