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. If the Government would ensure the public knew about the rules of federal property, perhaps this might not have even been a case. A time statute should be in effect. If you look at the Estray Statues it says many states have enacted estray statues that give a finder of mislaid of lost property clear title to the property if certain requirements are met. The requirements are
1. Reporting the find to an appropriate government agency
2. Advertising the lost property
3. The owner not claiming the property within a stated time (e.g., one year). The finder acquires title to the property and is thereafter not required to return the property if the rightful owner appears to claim it (Cheeseman, 2003 pg 918).
Since there are special rules that apply to federal property maybe this statues wouldn't have helped him. However, if he and the public were aware of the special rules he might have reconsidered doing the project in the first place.
I think there should be a time limit regarding forfeiture or non-forfeiture of title. If the owner doesn't claim the property in a certain amount of time th