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Old 24-07-2006, 14:27   #1
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salvage rights

Recently I while kayaking, I found a plastic lawn chair floating in the bay behind our house. After having it on our beach for a few days, I was told by a neighbor that it looked like it came from a dock a couple houses down from us.

Those particular people are idiots and have been jerks to us in the past, I just wanted to know if I could claim salvage rights on the chair and if they want it back, could I charge them "reasonable expenses"?
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Old 24-07-2006, 16:39   #2
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Aloha sluissa,
My personal opinion is that you have a "right" to keep the chair, however, the "right thing" to do would be knock on the door with the chair in hand and tell them the circumstances of how you acquired it with an offer of returning it. If they offer a "thank you very much" and a cold drink on a hot day you might make new friends. If they take the chair with no "thank you" then you'll really know what kind of neighbors you have.

In my personal experience it is a very bad thing to have an antagonistic relationship with neighbors because you'll see them or pass by their house everyday. It will probably bother you each time you're reminded of them. That kind of stress is not what you need in your life and it should be avoided as much as possible.
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Old 24-07-2006, 18:22   #3
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Once a jerk, always a jerk. Keep the chair and let them wonder where you got it.
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Old 24-07-2006, 18:52   #4
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these aren't the kind of people that something like this would just clear up, we had to call the police on them in fact, just last night for illegally shooting off fireworks during a drought, and even if it wasn't a drought, they were the kind of fireworks that are illegal in this state no matter the situation. we walked over there and kindly reminded them of the drought situation, and he told us to "get the f*** off my property", after which we called the cops.

that, and the fact that other neighbors of ours have had run ins with them just makes me not want to deal with them if we don't have to. If they notice we have the chair, and want it back, it's there, they can take it.
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Old 24-07-2006, 22:12   #5
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ahhh.. good ole Pensacola ... NTTC Corry Field brings back ... well not fond, but certainly memories.

If the neighbors would notice and recognize the chair ... fix it so it is unrecognizable - maybe turn it into an object de art?
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Old 24-07-2006, 22:21   #6
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Aloha Sluissa,
If you've tried the right way with them then fine. Just thought you might not have given a chance. 12 quage fireworks don't catch things on fire during a drought. Regards, --JohnL--
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Old 24-07-2006, 22:24   #7
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As for salvage rights and charging for the chair, you can only charge if it has cost you money to salvage it. Well, maybe the paddling cost you with effort I spose and well, maybe the effort haul it back to the beach, maybe getting your feet a little wet and then dragging it up the beach I guess, hey it could come at a cost of your longterm life span. All that hard work, it may take a 1/10th of a second off, who knows.
Nah, I reckon if you found it, its finders keepers.
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Old 24-07-2006, 23:15   #8
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Some times it just isn't worth the effort. There was a small dilapidated dinghy that showed up banging against my hull. I hauled it out of the water and set it on deck. A few weeks passed, and no one came looking for it, so I started thinking about repairing it for my boat. One weekend, I pulled it onto the dock (after about a month) and started to clean it up to see if the glass was salvagable. One of the fisherman a couple of boats down came running over yelling "What the hell are you doing with my dinghy?" I explained the circumstances, and he called me a thief. I reminded him the cost of gel coat repairs, and again, explained that I would be happy to give him his dinghy back, but I certainly didn't "Steal" it. The conversation continued on from there to my directing him to get his POS off my dock. I probably could have kept it, but it just wasn't worth the trouble. Considering I make it a point to keep an eye on all the boats on our dock for frayed lines, sinking problems etc. I will be pleased to oblige and not have anything to do with his derelict fishing boat. Besides, I wouldn't want any boat that his negative personality could have rubbed off on. (Something to consider when you are trying to enjoy a Mai Tai in your new chair)
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Old 25-07-2006, 02:38   #9
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Heaping Coals of Kindness Upon Their Heads

Skipper John started off well, but your opinion of these people shouldn't make any difference in how decent you are to them. Don't let your dislike of them make you a smaller man.

Now that you know whose property it is, you're responsible for that knowledge. Can't claim you don't to whom the thing belongs.

The question to ask yourself is: "Am I returning the chair in order to be recognized and thanked for my kindness, or because it's the right thing to do, no matter what their response?"

Even if they curse you, accuse you of stealing the chair, tell you to get off their property again, and slam the door in your face, you will have done what is right and will have a clean conscience, if you can keep your ego in check.

Making sure the chair is brought back noticeably cleaner than when it became a runaway would be the only revenge to seek. Kill'em with kindness. It's fun.
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Old 25-07-2006, 04:17   #10
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SkiprJohn, Kai Nui and CaptainJeff have good points. It is always better to do the right thing even for the wrong people. But if you're not so inclined consider that a plastic lawn chair is "not a hill worth dieing on" and pitch it in the garbage to avoid a fight.
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Old 25-07-2006, 13:14   #11
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Thanks Pura,
Good read on this problem. Hope sluissa is reading this.
I had a similar thing happen to me but with a bicycle I rescued from a theft (saw someone breaking the lock), couldn't find the owner, fixed it up and started using it. Then got accused of theivery. Not a pleasant thing but a good lesson. If you didn't buy it/build it or someone didn't give it to you, then it really isn't yours.
Kind Regards, --JohnL--
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Old 22-01-2007, 12:50   #12
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Salvage Rights

i am curious to know salvage laws regarding derilect boats in the tule's or those that break free from moorings and end up on beaches after storms. i live in the california delta. lots of boats floating around in the backwaters...
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