Friday, November 15, 2013

Brooks v. State case brief

Brooks v. State case brief summary
35 Ohio St. 46 (1878)

Defendant sought review from the judgment of the Court of Common Pleas of Trumbull County (Ohio), which denied his motion for a new trial and convicted him of larceny.

The complainant lost a sum of money near a hitching post and published notices of the loss in the newspapers. Defendant found the money, did not tell his co-workers who were with him of his discovery, quit his job, and used the money for his personal benefit. He was not aware of the published notices and did not have notice that the complainant had lost the money.

Defendant contended that the trial court erred in failing to charge the jury that to find him guilty of larceny, he must know, have reason to know, or had the means of identifying the owner of the money.


  • The court held that the trial court properly refused the instruction because a conviction for larceny did not require that defendant know or have reason to know the owner of the money. 
  • Defendant was bound to reasonable diligence to ascertain the owner. 
  • Defendant's intent to steal the money at the time he took possession of it was demonstrated by his failure to tell his co-workers of his discovery, his quitting his job shortly after finding the money, and his immediate actions to spend it. 
  • Defendant was not entitled to a new trial because from an examination of the evidence the case was fairly submitted to the jury.

The court affirmed defendant's conviction.

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