After officials from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game observed Lester and Conrad Gissel (plaintiffs) harvesting rice on land jointly owned by the State of Idaho (defendant) and the National Forest Service, the county prosecutor secured a search warrant for Lester’s home. Upon searching the residence, state officers found and seized 180 bags of rice. The Gissels were subsequently convicted of trespass. Prior to trial, the rice was sold for a profit. The Gissels filed a Notice of Claim against the state to the proceeds of the sale. When the state denied liability, the Gissels filed a complaint alleging the negligent seizure and disposal of the rice, and failure to account to the Gissels for the sale proceeds. The district court concluded that the Gissels were entitled to recover from the state the $10,500 in proceeds from the sale of the rice that had been harvested from the National Forest Service-owned land, but not the $10,500 in proceeds from the sale of rice harvested on the state-owned land, to which the state was rightfully entitled. The court reasoned that the state unlawfully converted the proceeds from the sale of the rice harvested on federal land. The state appealed.