Hannah v. Peel King's Bench Division, K.B.

509 (1945)


Peel (D) bought a home in 1938. D never moved into the house. In 1940, D's home was used by the military in World War II. Hannah (P), a lance-corporal serving in the Royal Artillery, was stationed at the house and found a brooch on top of a window sill of a room that was being used as a sick bay. The room was in a remote part of the house. On the advice of his commanding officer, P gave it to the police, who after two years gave it to D in 1942. D sold it for 66 pounds. There was no evidence that D ever had any knowledge of the existence of the brooch before it was found by P. P attempted to regain possession, but D refused to return the brooch. P wanted to recover the brooch or its value. D contends that he has superior title because he owned the land where the property was found. There were no real issues of fact in this case.