Abandoned Property? A Case Review: International Aircraft Recovery, L.L.C V. United States Of Americ

Abandoned Property? A review of the case International Aircraft Recovery v. U.S.
We will discuss the legal issues regarding property ownership, when the original owner has lost, misplaced, or abandoned that property. A particular focus will be to contrast the differences between the laws that regulate federal and private property.
The specific concern will be the case of the salvaged TBD-1 Devastator, a rare Navy aircraft recovered 8 miles off the coast of Florida, in 500 feet of water, and estimated to have a value of one to two million dollars once restored.
We will begin with the definition of lost, misplaced, or abandoned property, and proceed to discuss the history of property ownership law, speculate on the reasons for differences in property ownership laws, the rights of the individual or organization recovering federal property. We will conclude with a summary of the effect on private business when attempting to claim federal property.
What are the differences among lost, misplaced, and abandoned property?
Massachusetts, like every other state, has a process whereby abandoned property is turned over to the state. The origin of unclaimed property dates back to British common law when abandoned land was returned to the king. Today, states apply this concept to all-intangible property and tangible property, other than real estate. States do not take permanent title of the property but instead act as custodians to safeguard it for the rightful owners or their heirs to claim it. Most states do not have a time limitation for owners or heirs to file a claim.
Abandoned Property Statutes do not apply to federally owned assets or property. Per the Missouri statutes: Sections 447.500 to 447.595 shall not affect property the title to which is veste ...
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