Chapter 19. Personal Law and Bailments

Aim: What is personal property? Anything one can own that is not real property

The bailee was required to use great care and was responsible for slight negligence. in a bailment for the sole benefit of the bailor, the bailee was required to use only slight care and was responsible only for gross negligence. in a mutual-benefit bailment, the bailee was required to use ordinary care and was responsible for ordinary negligence.

Personal Property: anything that can be owned other than real estate

Real Property: property that is fixed to the land. (if it is undone or taken away, there is something missing)

  1. Tangible personal property: property that has substance and can be touched
  2. Intangible: property that has no substance/physical presence and cannot be touched

I. The Possession of Personal Property

A. Gift of personal property- can not be taken back- ownership is transferred

1. Intent of the Donor

2. Must be delivered

3. Donee must accept accept

Donor: makes the gift

Donee: must accept the gift

B. Lost Property- personal property lost in a general area/common place (street, lawn, driveway, hallway)

1. An attempt must be made to find the owner of the lost possesion. After an attempt is made after a reasonable period of time, the finder is allowed to keep it.

C. Misplaced Property- property left in someone’s home or an establishment (house, restaraunts, business, school)

1. An establishment must keep the misplaced item until it is claimed. (A school keeps thigns for a year).

**Only way to collect an award is to know about an award afterwards. Cannot return an item and obtain an award after you have recieved an item**

II. Intellectual Property: an original work fixed in a tangible medium of expression. It includes patents, copyrights, and trademarks.

  1. Patent: exclusive right granted by the federal government to make, use, or sell an invention. Up to 17 years.
  2. Copyright: right granted to an suthor, composer, photographer, or artist to exclusively publish and sell an artistic or literary work. Lifespan of the person plus 50 years after death.
  3. Trademark: distinctive mark, symbol, or slogan used by a business to identify goods and to distinguish them for products sold by others. Is renewable.

III. Bailment: an agreement created by the delievery of personal property by the owner by someone who is not the owner for a specific purpose (with the intent to return the property to the rightful owner)

Bailee: your in possesion of something that belongs to someone else

Bailor: someone else has some of your belongings in his or her possession

Types of Bailments:

Mutual- benefit bailment: both the bailor and the bailee recieve some benefits. For service and repair.

Service or Repair:

Bailor- owner of property

Bailee- service/repair shop (the one responisble for the service)

Storage/Parking- (storage) one gives up their property to store it somewhere (parking) one surrenders their vehicle to a valet. (Mutual Benefit)

Security for a Loan- surrender your proerty as security for a loan

Bailor- pledger/debter (borrower)

Bailee- pledger/creditor (bank) (lender)

Rental or Leasing- (Rent a car/Tuxedo shop)

Bailor- the company (rents out the item)

Bailee- the customer (pays to use the item)

Bailments by Necesity- (ex. one gives up their coat in a resturant to a coat check)

Bailor- gives up possesionof the property

Bailee- accepys or protects the property

Gratuitous bailment– a bailment which is free of charge and either benefits the bailor or the bailee.

1. Sole benefit of the bailee- degree of care 9free use of goods)

2. Sole benefit of the bailor- degree of care (med-slight) (free storage, repairs, transpor

I. Personal property– anything that can be owned other than real estate Real property is fixed to the land

Tangible- property that has substance and can be touched

Intangible- property that has no substance and cannot be touched

Gifts of personal property

Completed and cannot be taken back after

1. Donor must intend to make the gift

2. Gift must be delivered

3. The donor must accept the gift

Lost property– the finder has a legal duty to return the property. if the owner is not found the finder may keep it.

Local laws- you may use the found property until you find the owner

Rewards and reimbursement- The finder is entitled to any reward if offered. they are also entitled to be reimbursed for any expenses incurred in returning the property to its rightful owner.

Misplaced property- If lost property is found on the counter of a store or in a semi-public place it is considered to be misplaced.

they must return it to a proprietor.

the proprietor can not legally allow anyone but the owner to take it

II Intellectual Property– an original work fixed in a tangible medium (patents, copyrights and trademarks

Patents– exclusive right granted by the federal government to make, use, sell an invention. Owner has rights to the invention for 17 years

Must consist of a new idea or principle not known before. It must be useful and not obvious to anyone with ordinary skill in the field

Copyrights– right granted to an author, composer, photographer, or an artist to exclusively publish and sell an artistic or literary work.  Protected for the life of the author  plus 50 years

Fair use doctrine- may be reproduced without permission. for  literary criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research is allowed.

Trademarks– distinctive mark, symbol, or slogan used by a business to identify goods and to distinguish them from products sold by others- it is a word, name, symbol, or other device. You must register it.

III Bailments and Personal Property

Bailments- agreements created by the delivery of personal property by the owner to someone who is not the owner for a specific purpose. A Bailee has something that belongs to someone else. Bailor gives up possession of their personal property.

IV Principal Types of Bailments– in business most bailments are based on contracts but they are not usually based on contracts in personal relationships.

Mutual-Benefit Bailments– both the bailor and bailee receive some benefit.

servicing or repair- clothes to cleaners, car at a garage

to be stored- the ones who store it must protect it. must return the stuff on demand

Parking a car in a parking lot- was it an agreement to rent a parking space or was it a bailment? if it is a bailment the bailee must prove that they were not negligent. if it was rented it must be proven by the owner

bailment takes place when you surrender the keys to a parking lot attendant

as a security for a loan– bailments are sometimes coupled with the loan of money. goods of the borrower in such a bailment over to the lender to hold as security for the loan.

Property left is called the pledge or pawn

borrower is the pledgor or bailor

lender is the pledgee or bailee- May be a bank, loan company, credit union, pawn broker, or any other person.

out of necessity– giving up possession of property for the benefit of both parties. leaving your clothes in a dressing room so you can try on clothes.

gratuitous bailments- bailor lends the good to the bailee for use without charge. bailment for sole benefit of the bailee

bailee takes the goods from the bailor and keeps them safe. bailment for the sole benefit of the bailee.

because of a rental or lease agreement–  rental leasing for everyday and common items

V Rights and Duties in Bailments: rights of the bailor are closely related to and in a sense the opposite to those of the bailee. bailor has a right to their goods being protected = bailee has the duty to protect those goods by using reasonable care.

Rights and duties of a bailor

Rights:

to receive service or money that was contracted for

to have the goods protected from harm by use of reasonable care

have the goods returned when the job is done and payment is tendered

Duties:

to pay for services or storage costs

to warn the bailee of any possible danger involved in handling the goods

to give notice of any special care required

to pick up the goods within a reasonable time after they are ready unless they are to be delivered.

Rights and duties of a bailee– degrees of care are great care, ordinary care, slight care.

in a bailment for the sole benefit of the bailee the bailee was required to use great care and was responsible for slight negligence.

in a bailment for the sole benefit of the bailor the bailee was required to use only slight negligence and was responsible for gross negligence

in a mutual benefit bailment, the bailee was required to use ordinary care and is responsible for ordinary negligence.

new law is that they must use reasonable care under the circumstances

if a bailee violates the terms of the agreement in any way the bailee becomes an insurer

Tortious bailee is one who wrongfully retains the lost property of another or is knowingly in possession of stolen property.

Burden of proof: when one person brings a claim against another for negligence, the plaintiff has the burden of proving that the defendant was negligent

recently it changed the person in the best position to prove what actually happened has the burden of proof.

 

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