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Popov v Hayashi, 2002 WL 31833731, (Cal Superior Ct)

Facts:

Barry Bonds hit a record home run into the stands. Popov had put his glove up and made contact with the abandoned baseball, but was prevented from catching the ball when he was illegally attacked by a mob of people. Hayashi, away from the mob, saw the ball on the ground and picked it up. Popov claimed that the ball belonged to him; Hayashi claimed the same.

Issue(s):

Does Popov have sufficient possession to claim a right against the whole world?

Ratio:

There are three criteria of possession:
** 1 -the object must be lost or abandoned
** 2 -intention to control to the exclusion of others
** 3 -actual physical control
*** If #2 and #3 are met, but actual physical control is prevented by an illegal act, courts may find a pre-possessory right based on equity.
*** physical control may also vary by context, the community of practice, and the object itself.

Holding:

Decision: Pre-possessory right for Popov, possessory right for Hayashi


Discussion

  1. Fiat Justitia Ruat Caelum 32

    Very concise, thanks!

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