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Personal Property VA FINAL


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What are the 3 types of found property?
1) abandoned property
2) lost property
3) mislaid property
With respect to abandoned property, what are the two key inquiries?
1) Is the property abandoned?
-Abandoned if owner has given up possession with the intent to give up title and control
2) If it is abandoned, has someone acquired rights to it?
-Did the finder have possession with the intent to assert title and control?
So, what are the two key elements in an abandoned property question?
Possession and intent
1) owner has given up possession; finder has acquired possession
2) owner had intent to give up title and control; finder had intent to acquire tite and control
Who are the 2 characters in most lost/mislaid property questions?
1) the finder
2) the land owner or occupier

Note: true owner absent because he would always win
What is the definition of lost property?
No voluntary act was taken in placing the property where it was found.
Who wins in a lost property question? Finder or land owner/occupier?
GR: finder wins
EX: if finder is a trespasser, then owner/occupier wins (trespassers always lose)
EX: master prevails over servant
EX: highly private locus exception
What is the highly private locus exception?
It defeats the GR that the finder of lost property prevails and says that if the place of finding was a highly private locus (home or office), then the land owner/occupier wins.
What is the definition of mislaid property?
The owner has take some affirmative act in placing the property where it is found and left it behind.
Who wins in the mislaid property situation? Finder or land owner/occupier?
Owner/occupier wins
Give an example that distinguishes between lost and mislaid property.
1) walking aisle in store, wallet falls out of coat = lost property (finder prevails)
2) put wallet on counter in store and forget to pick it up (owner prevails)
What is the very general rule w/r/t gifts? (when does title pass)
If a gift is given, title passes.
What are the two types of gifts?
1) inter vivos
2) causa mortis
What 3 elements are necessary for a valid inter vivos gift?
1) donative intent (easier to find if d'or and d'ee closely related)
-intent to pass title NOW
-has nothing to do with possession (oil painting example)
2) valid delivery
-giving to someone sufficient
-also sufficient to give a symbolic representation of a gift (savings account passbook)
3) valid acceptance
-implied through silenve
-must have explicit rejection to invalidate acceptance
When is delivery complete in the following situation?
Donor makes out check or promissory note to donee.
NO delivery until check is CASHED or note PAID
When is delivery complete in the following situation?
Donor hands donee check or note made out to donor by a third party.
YES delivery even if d'or hasn't indorsed.
When is delivery complete in the following situation?
Donor hands donee stock certificate.
YES delivery even if no indorsement or notification to corporation of transfer
When is delivery complete in the following situation?
Donor uses middleman to get the gift to donee.
Depends on whose agent the middle man is.
1) middleman is d'or's agent --- no delivery until agent delivers to d'ee
2) middleman is d'ee's agent --- delivery when given to agent
3) FOR MINOR D'EEs, construe middleman as d'ee's agent
What type of peril must a donor be contemplating for a valid gift causa mortis?
Fair degree of certainty, OR Likelihood of death that is imminent and likely to occur
2 examples for bar purposes:
1) lying on sidewalk after being hit by a bus
2) being in hospital with terminal illness
What are the 3 ways a gift causa mortis is revoked?
1) d'or voluntarily revokes before death
2) d'ee predeceases d'or
3) d'or recovers (automatically revoked by operation of law)
Is a gift causa mortis revoked if donor dies but of something other than the peril that caused the gift?
NO! It is no longer revocation. Death of some sort after the peril is good enough.
How do you know when a bailment exists?
-When bailor has taken over custody of chattel w/ intent to serve as bailee (must intend to serve as bailee--doesn't count if something is hidden in the car that's unexpected but expected items, intent is presumed)
Are items unknown items inside a safe deposit box bailments?
Yes even though bank has no idea what's inside th box.
Is a car in a parking lot/garage considered a bailment?
1) if driver keeps keys, NO
2) if lot/garage keeps keys, YES
What liability does a bailee (he who receives the bailment) have for damaged/destroyed/missing bailment?
It depends on the standard of care.
1) if for the sole benefit of the bailor (he who turns over the chattel) -- only GROSS NEGLIGENCE
-also called a gratuitous bailment
2) if for sole benefit of the bailee (he who receives the bailment), then liable for even SLIGHT NEGLIGENCE
3) if mutual benefit --- liable for ORDINARY NEGLIGENCE
When is bailee strictly liable?
1) SL for unauthorized use
2) GR: SL for misdelivery
EX: if bailee misdelivers car in parking lot when presented with forged claim check, not SL
Are exculpatory clauses effective in limiting liability for bailees?
GR: yes, bailee can limit liability for negligence so long as bailor received EFFECTIVE NOTICE of the limitation (e.g., if in fine print--no effective notice; if huge sign--effective notice)
EX: can only limit liability for ordinary negligence, not gross negligence or intentional torts
What is the general definition of a common carrier?
One who undertakes to for hire to transport persons or goods from place to place.
What are the 3 requirements to qualify as a common carrier?
1) holding out to perform service for all who apply
2) carriage must be for hire
3) service must be for carriage (e.g., in the transport business)
What is the significance of qualifying as a common carrier?
-Considered an insurer of the goods transported and liable for any damage or loss with 3 exceptions
What are the 3 exceptions to a common carrier being liable as an insurer for all loss/damage of chattels?
1) goods damaged by act of nature
2) goods damaged/destroyed by faulty packaging by shipper
3) goods are perishable and damaged because nature took its course

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