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Hannah v Peel (1945) 1 KB 509

The claimant, a soldier, had been stationed in a house belonging to the defendant. He found a brooch on top of the window frame. The claimant then took it to the police station. The police contacted the defendant who told them that he had no knowledge of the brooch and that he had not resided in the property. The police failed to locate the owner of the brooch and after 12 months informed the defendant that he could collect it. The defendant collected the brooch and sold it. The claimant learnt of this and brought an action against the defendant to recover the proceeds of sale contending that as the finder of the brooch he had a better title than the land owner.

Held:

The claimant was successful following Bridges v Hawkesworth. The brooch was not attached to nor beneath the surface of the land. The land owner was not aware of the existence of the brooch until it was brought to his attention by the police.


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