PropertyProf Blog

Editor: Stephen Clowney
Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Is It Abandoned, or Is It Theft?

From today's New York Times, a classic tale about abandoned property -- or is it?  New York seems to think appliances left curbside have not been abandoned, but rather given to the City, and that taking them constitutes theft.  The common law, of course, would beg to differ: it's axiomatic that when control over property has been voluntarily relinquished, it is abandoned, and belongs to its finder / next possessor.  Perhaps the City could argue that at the instant the appliances reach the curb, possession has been transferred to the City, and control over the appliances has not been voluntarily relinquished by the City.  I feel an exam hypo coming on.

Mark A. Edwards

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Nordic Track?

Posted by: Tom | Dec 15, 2010 4:53:08 PM

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