Corliss v. Wenner
Court of Appeals of Idaho
34 P.3d 1100 (2001)
In the fall of 1996, Jann Wenner (defendant) hired Larry Anderson (defendant) and his employee, Gregory Corliss (plaintiff), to construct a driveway on Wenner’s ranch. While excavating soil for the driveway, Anderson and Corliss unearthed a glass jar containing rolls of gold coins. Anderson and Corliss agreed to split the gold coins between themselves, with Anderson maintaining physical possession of all the coins. Anderson and Corliss later argued over ownership the coins, and Anderson fired Corliss. Anderson then gave possession of the coins to Wenner in exchange for indemnification against any claims that Corliss might have against Anderson regarding the coins. Corliss sued Anderson and Wenner for possession of the coins. The trial court rejected the finders-keepers rule of treasure trove and ruled that the coins were considered mislaid property, thus granting possession to the landowner, Wenner. The trial court further held that the coins were a part of Wenner’s property, and that Anderson and Corliss were employees of Wenner. Corliss appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Schwartzman, C.J.)
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