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Finders Weepers, Losers Keepers

Finders Weepers, Losers Keepers
The News Journal, July 20, 2000.

In 1943, During World War II, a Navy TBD-1 Devastator crashed eight miles of the coast of Florida. The entire crew survived and there is no indication that any efforts were made to locate the plane by the Navy. Collector Doug Champlin, the owner of an airplane museum in Arizona, spent approximately $130,000.00 to recover the plane. The problem has to do with ownership. He claims to be the owner of the lost/abandoned plane. The Navy claims ownership and wants to put the plane in the National Museum of Naval Aviation at Pensacola, Naval Air Station. The TBD-1 Devastator has significant historical value as no Devastators survived the war.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that only Congress can order the abandonment of federal property. Hence the Navy owns the plane. Mr. Champlin doesn't mind giving the plane back to the Navy; he just wants to be reimbursed. The Navy is hesitant to pay and Mr. Champlin is considering an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Aside from the property question regarding ownership, is Mr. Champlin entitled to any reimbursement for money spent? Is the Navy being unjustly enriched if he gets nothing? Are there any other theories that the class can come up with to secure repayment on his behalf?

Solution Preview

For your convenience, I have attached an APA formatted MS Word file containing the text below. I have also included a link to the actual court case for your review.

Finders Weepers, Losers Keepers
The News Journal, July 20, 2000.

In 1943, During World War II, a Navy TBD-1 Devastator crashed eight miles of the coast of Florida. The entire crew survived and there is no indication that any efforts were made to locate the plane by the Navy. Collector Doug Champlin, the owner of an airplane museum in Arizona, spent approximately $130,000.00 to recover the plane. The problem has to do with ownership. He claims to be the owner of the lost/abandoned plane. The Navy claims ownership and wants to put the plane in the National Museum of Naval Aviation at Pensacola, Naval Air Station. The TBD-1 Devastator has significant historical value as no Devastators survived the war.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that only Congress can order the abandonment of federal property. Hence the Navy owns the plane. Mr. Champlin doesn't mind giving the plane back to the Navy; he just wants to be reimbursed. The Navy is hesitant to pay and Mr. Champlin is considering an appeal to the Supreme ...

Solution Summary

This post contains an APA formatted MS Word file containing a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals case involving a lost U.S. Navy TBD-1 Devastor, captured in The New Journal article entitled "Finder's Weepers).

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