Saturday, December 28, 2013

McAvoy v. Medina case brief

McAvoy v. Medina case brief summary
93 Mass. (11 Allen) 548 (1866)

The (P),  a customer, sought review of a decision of a Massachusetts lower court.
The court awarded a judgment in favor of defendant barber in the customer's action that alleged that he was entitled to keep a wallet that he had found in the barber's shop that belonged to a transient customer who they could not locate.

The customer found a wallet on a table in the barber's store. The customer told the barber to keep it for the person that had lost it.  After the true owner did not come forward to claim the wallet, the customer made 3 demands for the money that was in the wallet.


  • The court stated that finders of lost property have a valid claim to such property against all the world except the true owner, and also stated that generally that the place in which it was found created no exception to the rule. 
  • The court also held, however, that to place a wallet upon a table and to forget to take it away was not to lose it, in the sense in which the rule referred to property that was lost. 
  • Therefore, the court found that the rule did not apply because the property was voluntarily placed upon a table in the barber's shop by a person who had accidentally left it there and never recovered it.
  • Therefore, the customer acquired no original right to the wallet or its contents.
The court affirmed the trial court's holding, which awarded a judgment in favor of the barber.

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