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  1. #1

    Default Who is Responsible for Lost but Claimed Jewelry

    My question involves personal property located in the State of: CA

    I recently went to a tanning salon where I left my necklace behind. After leaving the salon, I called the next day and was told by the employee that she had found my necklace in the bed and would hold it for me. She had me describe it, and she said "yep that's the one! I'll have it here for you next time you come in". Well, about a week went by and when I went back into the salon to tan and get my necklace, the same employee was working. She scoured the drawer that she claimed to have put the sealed envelope with my necklace in but alas, was not able to find it. She asked me multiple times if i had come to pick it up, which obviously I hadn't, and said she would talk to the owner to see if it was misplaced. Later that afternoon, she called me to let me know that they lost the necklace, and that they would pay me for it and how awful she felt. I said ok, and let her know the necklace was not cheap - it was around $300. I told her i'd be in the next week to get more info from the owner. Well, I went in the next week. The same woman was there. When I inquired, she said "are you sure you didn't pick up the necklace?I could have sworn you did. (even though the tanning record shows I haven't tanned since it was lost). She also stated "I talked to the owner and he wasn't happy about this. he thinks this is your fault that you left it and we aren't responsible."

    Then why was I told i would be paid? Is there a bailment formed here, where, since they found the necklace, they should have been held responsible for its safe-keeping? Or what about the fact that this woman told me they would pay me for it? *I brought in a picture and the employee verified that it was in fact the necklace she found and that she put it in the drawer. I asked if another employee could have stolen it, which obviously they denied. Do I have any recourse here?

    also- the salon closes at 7pm and is located 30 min from my home. I was not able to pick up my necklace any sooner.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: Who is Responsible for Lost but Claimed Jewelry

    From the CA Civil Code:

    2080. Duties of finder

    Any person who finds a thing lost is not bound to take charge of it, unless the person is otherwise required to do so by contract or law, but when the person does take charge of it he or she is thenceforward a depositary for the owner, with the rights and obligations of a depositary for hire. Any person or any public or private entity that finds and takes possession of any money, goods, things in action, or other personal property, or saves any domestic animal from harm, neglect, drowning, or starvation, shall, within a reasonable time, inform the owner, if known, and make restitution without compensation, except a reasonable charge for saving and taking care of the property. Any person who takes possession of a live domestic animal shall provide for humane treatment of the animal.

    I see, without further research that is, they would also classify MISLAID property as LOST.

    The difference is, you say left it on a table, that would be mislaid. If you dropped it on the floor without knowing, that would be lost. This describes some states, including mine, Ohio, as the law on such property is case law/common law, not statutory like CA.

    Even if we classify it as mislaid and they take charge of it, it is a bailment, yes, and the "degree of care" they must hold it with may be slight or not?

    The law only addresses lost, I can find, so we will go with that.

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