The Case Of The Poached Boat

Date: May 27, 2010
Posted In: DLP Law

Al had been looking for a row boat for some time and his friend Gus just happened to inform Al that he, Gus, had heard one being available from somebody who lived near Lake Wallenpaupack. Gus gave Al the name of a fellow named “Buzz.” Al was directed to what he thought was Buzz\’s home and sure enough saw a row boat in the backyard which appeared to be in good condition. A man appeared and offered to sell the boat to Al for $300.00.

No sooner had Al gotten his boat home, when the police showed up and advised poor Al that the boat he had purchased was stolen. Al insisted he bought it from a guy named Buzz, but the police did not know who Buzz was and in fact stated that the home that Al described did not have anyone living there by the name of Buzz. The police confiscated the boat and much to Al\’s chagrin, when Al returned to find Buzz, Buzz was not around and nobody had ever heard of him.

Issue: Does Al have any rights to the boat that he paid $300.00 for?

Answer: No, basically Al bought a stolen property and the individual that sold the boat to Al had no right of ownership. As Al quickly found out, he was simply the victim of a scam and ended up paying $300.00 to learn his lesson.

Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive. Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column.

Tom Cummings
Thomas P. Cummings has been a Partner with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP since 1996 and has been with the firm since 1991. He focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability and personal injury cases.