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Author Topic: help with the law  (Read 2928 times)

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Offline scurvyblack

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help with the law
« on: April 12, 2009, 09:28:36 PM »
how can i make a legal claim on found treasure. does it matter on how much i find? say its on public land? has anyone ever heard of a case where a person wasn't able to keep what they found.  so lost..... need help please, thanks.
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honeyman76

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Re: help with the law
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2009, 09:38:42 PM »
I believe that it falls under finders keepers. Case in point, a few years ago, a Vancouver |city Cop, off duty was walking thorugh a park and located $1000000, in cash, near a park bench. He turned it in. 6 months later he went to claim it, but the Department declared that although not on official duty, he was still unable to claim it. After court., it was determined that the officer, a citzen was entitled to the loot! Nobody claimed the money. The same i would think would hold true in any other case, as long as its not stolen property I don;t see why you wouldn't be able to keep said treasure/

Offline GollyMrScience

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Re: help with the law
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2009, 08:23:55 AM »
Since treasure recovered from just about anywhere usually brings out more coyotes and bandits than you can shake a stick at it can get very tricky.
Professional treasure hunters have lots of stories about unscrupulous governments and people trying to take their hard won finds.
Many times it comes to a court decision.

Case in point - if the officer had been in uniform he would have been acting as a representive of the local govenment and would have had a dilly of a time claiming that money.

Anything on private land beongs to the owner of the land under most jurisdictions. On public land things get really weird and it can go from finders keepers to a split recovery or even seizure by local authouritise to determine "ownership" whereupon you face years of fighting to get it back.

Also you can count of all sorts of people suddenly discovering they are related to or the person who lost or hid the treasure or they have some other claim on it now that it has been found.

This is why many professional treasuer hunters work in secret as much as possible. Unless they have to announce a find there is little likelihood that you will find out about it in one of the Treasure Magazines.

When dealing with an uncertain situation it is best to get some info on the local treasure, lost and found and salvage laws. In some cases you might locate said treasure and then NOT recover it unless you can be sure you can keep it and under what circumstances. In that case you hire a lawyer to act as a third party inquirer on behalf of a client (you). They ask questions and get answers and can even negotiate without havng to tip your hand as they can claim client privilage if asked for details that would give away your identity of the nature of your find.

A local metal detecting club may be able to give you some info on general ideas about how finds might be treated but because they are not "in the business" you mght get info mixed with a lot of hearsay or conjecture.

In the States too I think you you may have to concern yourself with both Federal and State and perhaps even municiple governments. There will be issues like has the item been lost? In which case an effort will be made to locate an owner. Was the item hidden by parties unknown - usually a slam dunk as no way to locate an owner but some jurisdictions will want to determine if the proceeds are from crime in which case they can be siezed.

One of the hardest on treasure hunters both from the standpoint of potential loss of a find AND their own morals is anything to do with a historical resource. Great care and sensitivity needed here as almost ANYTHING can be a historical resource if somebody in authourity says it is.
Little wonder the pros are such a secretive and tricky bunch.
What the heck - lets just keep mixin' stuff together till it blows up or smells REALLY bad!

Offline scurvyblack

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Re: help with the law
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2009, 11:50:26 AM »
MR science and Dwayne

thanks for your info. gives me a lot to think about. i want to do the right thing or the legal thing. what i don't want is to be titled as a "grave robber" though it has nothing to do with graves. i can see when a lot of monies is involved it can get messy. i mean even taking credit for a find is enough for me.  [-1st-] it still would be nice to have something to show for it. in my case i would say it would be hard to find the "owner" or even anyone involved. guess i will have to see what turns out of all this. thank you again



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