Under the doctrine, original owners retain ownership interest, although the salvage is entitled to a very liberal salvage award.
However, when property is abandoned, the way the plane was in this situation, the owner gives up the reasonable expectation of privacy concerning it. The finder of abandoned property is entitled to keep it, and a police officer may take possession of abandoned property as evidence without violating the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
As deciding factor Federal law may have been given the monopoly on a subject preempting the state laws, when the federal court must try the case, it will apply the laws of the state where the controversy happened.
Do you think that Mr. Champlin should have consulted with the Navy before spending his time and money on this project Should he (or the general public for that matter) have known about this special rule regarding federal property Consider whether there should be a time limit or statute of limitations regarding the forfeiture or non-forfeiture of title. Also, consider whether property should be considered lost or abandoned by the failure to protect or attempt recovery of the property.
Mr. Champlin should have consulted with the Navy first. If he had taken the proper steps in notifying the Navy of what he was doing, he might have had more rights to fight the Navy. ...