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The Law Of Finding

The general rule is that the finder has a clear title against every one
but the owner. The proprietor of a hotel or a shop has no right to
demand property of others found on his premises. Such proprietors may
make regulations in regard to lost property which will bind their
employes, but they cannot bind the public. The finder has been held to
stand in the place of the owner, so that he was permitted to prevail in
all action against a person who found an article which the plaintiff had
originally found, but subsequently lost. The police have no special
rights in regard to articles lost, unless those rights are conferred by
statute. Receivers of articles found are trustees for the owner or
finder. They have no power in the absence of special statute to keep an
article against the finder, any more than the finder has to retain an
article against the owner.

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