Friday, November 11, 2011

Wetherbee v. Green case brief

Wetherbee v. Green

FACTS
  • D found and converted trees into 158,000 barrel hoops which are alleged to be worth $800.
  • D claims that he cut timber in good faith relying on permission from what he supposed to be from the parties who had the right to give it.
RULES
-One whose property has been appropriated without authority has the right to follow it and recover possession.
-Owner can reclaim if altered provided there is no destruction of substantial identity.
-If a thing is changed into a different species (i.e. wine from grapes), product belongs to the new operator, who must then make satisfaction for the materials that were converted.
-When a wrong is involuntary, owner of the original materials is precluded from reclaiming the property (i.e., when wood is turned into a piano).
-If there is intentional mingling, the wrongdoer loses all.
APPLICATION
-The court says that labor is important. (court also says that the trees being cut down in good faith is important)
-The value increased 100 times, which is more important than the change and transformation.
CONCLUSION
-The court erred in rejecting the testimony, D has the right to show "good faith".
-New trial ordered.

Subject: Property.
Topics: Conversion, good faith.

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