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Schley v. Couch

Supreme Court of Texas
284 S.W.2d 333 (1955)


Schley (plaintiff) purchased a house with a partially completed concrete garage floor and hired a contractor to finish the floor. Couch (defendant) was an employee of the contractor and was tasked with breaking up the soil where the new garage floor would be laid. While he was excavating the soil, Couch discovered a broken glass jar containing cash. Couch sued Schley to assert a claim to ownership of the money. A jury concluded that the money was mislaid property and that Schley, as the landowner, was the proper owner. Couch appealed and the court of appeals concluded that the money was neither lost nor mislaid property, but was properly characterized instead as treasure trove. The court of appeals reversed the circuit court and held that Couch was the proper owner as the finder of a treasure trove. Schley petitioned the Supreme Court for review.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Griffin, J.)

Concurrence (Calvert, J.)

Concurrence (Wilson, J.)

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