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Anderson v. Gouldberg

Supreme Court of Minnesota
53 N.W. 636 (1892)


Facts

Anderson (plaintiff) harvested timber without permission from the land of an unknown third party and hauled it to a mill. Gouldberg (defendant) appropriated the cut timber from the mill claiming that it had been harvested from land owned by the Ann River Logging Company. Gouldberg asserted that he had been granted authority by the logging company to take possession of the timber. Anderson filed a claim for return of possession or the value of the timber. The district court instructed the trial jury that Anderson’s title to the timber would be subordinate only to the title of the bona fide landowner or someone acting under the landowner’s authority, irrespective of whether or not Anderson harvested the timber illegally. The trial jury was tasked with determining whether the timber was harvested from Ann River Logging Company land and, if so, whether Gouldberg had authority from the logging company to take possession of the timber. The jury concluded that the timber was not harvested from logging company land and returned a verdict in Anderson’s favor with an award of monetary damages. Gouldberg moved for a new trial and brought his appeal upon denial of the motion.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Mitchell, J.)

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