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Thread: Lost & Found laws, what would you do in this case:

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  1. #16

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Icewing View Post
    ..... If the coins are not returned then it becomes a matter of what legal evidence does the dad have that they are his....
    This might come into play at the time he goes to the police dept. to claim a lost item. Then, yes, you might need proof of ownership.

    But the law does not spell out that you "only need to turn in things over $100 value, if the owner has proof of ownership". It simply says "over $100 value". It makes no distinction on when *you* think the item was lost. Or whether *you* think the owner has proof of ownership.
    Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!

  2. #17

    Mar 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by agflit View Post
    ....Fact: Items "ownership"...were established...in a manner of time....
    Ag, so you're saying that prior to the revelation from the Janitor, those guys were under no obligation? Then you would tell that father that his "luck is in the chance meeting of a janitor and an md'r", lest, ...... tough luck to him ? And how about the law of the land ? Even in the absence of that chance janitor meeting, weren't those guys under an obligation to turn in the coins, since they exceed XX value ?
    Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!

  3. #18

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
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    As an aside, I asked a lawyer once how things are valued. So do you go by intrinsic value (melt value of a ring for instance), or value-when-new ? For example, if you go by "melt value", then a lot of rings we find might have less than $100 of gold in them (especially if you go to a low-ball pawn shop). However, some poor sap paid $500 for that gold band in the jewelry store! Or how about a brand new Iphone? It has "intrinsic value" of perhaps .20c, right ? (some plastic, some silicone, etc...). Yet obviously the value on ebay is hundreds of dollars, etc... The lawyer's answer was: "Turn it in to the police, and let THEM decide how it is valued" ! ha !
    Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!

  4. #19
    us
    WP

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA View Post
    Wow, that's an interesting answer. The average coin collector would INSIST IN A HEARTBEAT that the coins still belong to the original owner. Not the lucky finder. You're totally serious that you'd say "congradulations" and let the md'r keep your coins ? Wow
    Yes, It's not the detectors fault! Even if the neighbor guy stole them out of the house. It's the persons fault that took them, Not the guys fault that buys or finds them. A good example is...I was a coin dealer for a short time, If I bought something stolen, unknowingly, and I had the persons information. I would have to be paid, what I paid for them. If I didn't have the information, I'd get hit with possession of stolen property and be out the money and item. Doesn't make sense. So, I guess each situation would depend.

    I also had my tool box stolen in the past, I knew who took it, He admitted to a friend of mine he took it. When I went to the cops, they said unless he admits to them or I have something etched on each tool? There was nothing they could do! I can't blame the next guy that ends up with them! Not his fault! I'll say I took that matter in my own hands, which was wrong! But he wouldn't steal anything from me anymore! This was years ago, when I was young and dumb....Well I guess that could still be argued now!

    Just thought of another example..Friends dad lost a Rolex in southern Ohio, while hunting/camping. Brush creek(?) somewhere if anyone wants to look for it. Anyhow, 8 to 10 thousand give or take...He turned it in to his insurance and got another one. If found? Who does it belong to now? No one is going to claim it. My friend could say it was his dads, but actually it belongs to the insurance company! It's out in that woods somewhere! We were always going to go back and look for it, but never made it, and his dad has passed now so we have no idea what sections he was in.
    Last edited by Nitric; Jan 14, 2016 at 11:53 PM.

  5. #20
    Charter Member

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    I learned a long time ago my mind doesn't deal in what if's
    in the case of what-if's my mind wants to take the Gutter Road
    always good for a laugh or a dream of becoming filthy Rich
    so where is this school sandbox ?

  6. #21
    us
    ARC

    Aug 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff of pa View Post
    I learned a long time ago my mind doesn't deal in what if's
    in the case of what-if's my mind wants to take the Gutter Road
    always good for a laugh or a dream of becoming filthy Rich
    so where is this school sandbox ?
    lol...
    Problem solved ! ! !

    Just tell Jeff where the sandbox is after you throw the coins back in it.
    jeff of pa and Tom_in_CA like this.
    Have permission... Fill holes... Dispose of trash.

  7. #22
    us
    ARC

    Aug 2014
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    I can say this...
    This is a "pickle"...

    If it were me... I would poke and ask some questions about "the coins"...
    Maybe ask for some info on the owner... a # for the owner "in case" his coins are found... and for info on the coins.
    Perhaps a "reward" could be involved for the return.
    Call em up and ask...
    Can you describe the coins that were lost or un-accounted for.

    If he describes to a "t"... OR even close enough.
    I would arrange a meeting and a return.

    IF... there is "vague" OR "lameness"...
    I would tell him...
    Ill let you know if I find anything.

    Short of that... IMO they are yours.
    kingskid1611 likes this.
    Have permission... Fill holes... Dispose of trash.

  8. #23
    Charter Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA View Post
    Ag, so you're saying that prior to the revelation from the Janitor, those guys were under no obligation? Then you would tell that father that his "luck is in the chance meeting of a janitor and an md'r", lest, ...... tough luck to him ? And how about the law of the land ? Even in the absence of that chance janitor meeting, weren't those guys under an obligation to turn in the coins, since they exceed XX value ?
    Tom... I'm saying that we all decide what constitutes a reasonable response to any given specific circumstance. We..society...have a certain "expectation" as to what is acceptable and what is not. IN THIS CASE...under these conditions...I'd suggest that a 'reasonable" individual...would logically propose that society would expect the items "belong" to Dad.
    Again...this is all about self ethics and individual morality. As far as "turn it into the police let them decide"...*snorts*....maybe if we would spend alittle more effort on personal responsability instead of ceding our moral compass to "Governing" bodies....it's possible this entire debate would be moot.

    JMOs

    Ag

  9. #24
    Charter Member
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    sigh......
    PLEASE READ OUR RULES. CLICK TO READ ------> TreasureNet.com Rules

    When you legislate a person's rights away a piece at a time naive citizens don't notice...

    The Patriot Act is anything but patriotic, denying citizens our freedoms and privacy in the lie of government security is allowing evil to win.. I will take my chances with the terrorists over tyranny...

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  10. #25
    Charter Member
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    If they were returned to me I would flip for them with the finder. Your call, heads or tails.
    AARC likes this.

  11. #26
    us
    Feb 2015
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    If you were already trying to piece the logic together of how the coins got there, then when the janitor explained the situation..... you know this has to be the guys coins. If you spent or sold some you are not obligated to return, since there was not prior knowledge. But I could not go on validating my ownership of the coins at this point. I would have to set things right and give up the coins to the owner. I think asking a few question as to coins is not unreasonable to insure the guy is on the up and up.
    cudamark likes this.
    TKgal

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  12. #27

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by AARC View Post
    ... IMO they are yours.
    AARC, let me see if I understand you correctly: Would this also be your answer, even if you were the coin collection owner ? Ie,: if you were the dad , you'd say the same thing ?
    Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!

  13. #28

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
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    thanx everyone for taking a stab at this true happening. Great input.

    Yes the L&F laws are generally a moot point, it seems we all agree. NO md'rs are in strict compliance with those, lest we'd all be "rushing to the police dept" when you find each ring (or in this case, perhaps even coins that have numismatic values that trigger your state's L&F laws). Yet the last time I looked at the show & tell "today's finds" section, and the beach hunting forum section, there is NO SHORTAGE of md'rs proudly showing their latest show & tell stuff, eh ? And I highly doubt any of them are rushing to the police.

    The law doesn't stipulate how long YOU think they were there, or whether YOU think the guy has receipts proof, or whether YOU think he's "still looking for it". And it's not only in effect when you are now appraised that someone's looking for it (versus before when you were blissfully ignorant). None of that is latitude given by the L&F laws. It simply says turn them in.

    However, we instinctively know that this is not realistic. We know that *normally* an 1890 $5 gold found at a stage stop is most likely lost at turn-of-century. And we instinctively know that, barring a class ring, etc... that non-identifiable rings, will not likely ever be claimed at police stations. And we instinctively wonder if we'd even get them back, to begin with. The L&F person at the police station could merely say "it was claimed". And they would have no obligation to tell you who picked it up (d/t privacy laws, etc...).

    So putting L&F laws aside, this story was really probably about just conscience and ethics upon revelation of probable origin of stuff you've been finding. I personally would hunt the guy down, and get his stuff back to him. Then you have the following problems though: What if your buddy disagrees ? (as several on this thread have). You're in a pickle. Because:

    A) sure, you can return your half of them to this guy, but then must look him in the face, and say you have no idea what happened to the still un-accounted for coins (though you know full well your buddy has them). Add to that your buddy now thinks you're a trouble maker, doesn't want to hunt with you anymore, and there's a riff between you guys now.

    B) what if you or your buddy had already sold a few on ebay, and you'd since gone out and spent the proceeds? As much as you desire to be honest (as some others of you on this thread sided with) you'd be in a pickle. Personally, I'd include that in with the repatriation attempt, and either try to get his coins back from whomever I'd sold them too (if the buyer allowed), or give the owner the money I'd sold them for.

    As for #B, that guy, if he got wind of the fact you'd sold them, could actually force your hand legally I suppose. Since technically you just sold "stolen property" ? Yes I know we don't call it "stolen", we call it "found". But that's where the L&F laws start to weasel their way back into the issue: because in the eyes of the law, you DID steal it, if you didn't turn it in. No different than keeping a bundle of cash that fell out a door of a Brink armored car. You can't say "finders keepers". So too could the father bring legitimate legal concerns to your windfall ebay proceeds. Not saying he would, but .... just sayin'
    Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!

  14. #29
    us
    ARC

    Aug 2014
    De Tampe Bahia - La Florida
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    IMO...
    Everything happens for a reason... If I have lost it... it is gone for a reason.
    If I find it... or it is returned...
    Then I have it... or have found it again... it was meant to be.
    Life has it funny ways of dealing out its loses and wins.

    Who am I to second guess life and the natural order of things.

    I am with TH's statement of "sigh".

    All I can say is this... in all honesty...
    If I knew "who" lost it...
    And it could be returned WITH validation of ownership...
    I would return it... with hopes of a "finders fee".

    But even with no fee...
    Its nice to feel like the items found are "free and clear" in my mind... and not a constant reminder of something else.
    So ME...
    I would hand them over to the rightful owner... just for piece of mind.
    Especially if I knew the owner has anguished over them.
    Not to mention the kid who is probably STILL on restriction in the fathers mind...
    WHO could be "pardoned" completely OR even somewhat by the safe return of said coins.


    But... I would be damn sure the coins were THIERS... and not just someone who "heard" about it.
    Last edited by AARC; Jan 15, 2016 at 11:47 AM.
    Tom_in_CA, TKgal and Escape like this.
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  15. #30
    us
    ARC

    Aug 2014
    De Tampe Bahia - La Florida
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    Who knows...
    Maybe you are the guy...
    who shows up at a time needed most by the person(s) who lost them.

    The guy or son is $ short of this or that...
    And the finding and sale of said coins could / would help or solve.
    OR could completely change the course of things.

    We may never know.

    But even if not...
    Then so be it... chalk it up as the way of life... its turns and tricks.
    Smile and walk away.

    For sometimes it is just easier and better to just drift in life's "stream of things"...
    than to row against the current... which is trying to take you in a direction for a reason.



    PS > Its a "dog eat dog" world out there...
    enough so...
    I need not contribute.

    Now ask me all this again... when and if... I was starving.
    I may take it as a "gift from the gods".

    Also...
    IF it were my coins lost... and I knew a destitute person found them...
    Or really needed them to change THEIR life...
    I would have one word.

    Good.
    Last edited by AARC; Jan 15, 2016 at 12:20 PM.
    Have permission... Fill holes... Dispose of trash.

 

 
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