Sunday, September 16, 2012

Brooks v. State case brief

Brooks v State
S. Ct. Ohio 1878
35 Ohio St. 46, 1878 Ohio 118
Facts: Defendant found a roll of money - $200.  The owner published a notice in the newspaper.  The D found the money 1 month afterward and did not discover who owned it or make notice of the discovery.
Issue:  Can D commit larceny when he finds money a month after it was casually lost?

: Yes

: Jury trial conviction for larceny.  Affirmed.

: When a person finds goods that have been actually lost and takes possession with intent to appropriate them to his own use, believing that the owner can be found is larceny.

Court Rationale
: The D was bound to use diligence or to take pains in making a search for the owner of the money.  The person last in possession retains constructive possession until he abandons, gives it away or another acquires its possession lawfully.  The D intended to steal the money as evidenced by his non-disclosure to his coworkers and lack of diligence in determining the owner.
Plaintiff: The D found the money which was lost, took possession with the intent to appropriate it for his own use with looking for the owner.

The property was lost for several weeks and the owner ceased to search for it, without a mark on the money, the owner is whomever finds it.

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