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Naftzger v. American Numismatic Society

49 Cal. Rptr. 2d 784 (1996)

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Naftzger v. American Numismatic Society

California Court of Appeal

49 Cal. Rptr. 2d 784 (1996)

Facts

The American Numismatic Society (the museum) (plaintiff) operated a museum that had a collection of coins. The museum’s collection included over a thousand copper cents donated by George Clapp (the Clapp coins). At some point before 1970, a thief stole 129 of the Clapp coins and substituted inauthentic coins in their place. In December 1990, the museum discovered the theft when it received a report from a coin expert who had examined the museum’s collection of Clapp coins. Subsequently, the museum learned that Roy Naftzger (defendant) possessed some of the stolen coins. In February 1993, the museum notified Naftzger of the museum’s claim to the stolen coins and demanded their return. Naftzger refused. In March 1993, Naftzger filed an action for declaratory relief and to quiet title to his Clapp coins. In 1993, the museum filed a cross-complaint against Naftzger to recover the stolen coins and to quiet title. The trial court found that Naftzger was entitled to quiet title to the coins and entered judgment in favor of Naftzger. The museum appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ortega, J.)

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