June 28, 2013

John Kelly’s June 24 Metro column “At Dulles lost-and-found, finders can be keepers” reported that lost and found property can be subject to the finders-keepers rule at the airport. That may or may not be the case elsewhere. All 50 states and the District have varying laws on the subject, either by common law or by statute. Michigan, for example, at one time had a law that provided a 50/50 split between the finder and the local unit of government. Some laws require the property to be sold at auction, with the finder getting nothing, and, conversely, some laws provide that the finder may, ultimately, take it all. And when a federal enclave is involved, the matter becomes more complicated. But I presume that is all something for another column by Mr. Kelly.

Richard A. Golden, Burke

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