ANST - Re: Lost & Found

Margo Lynn Hablutzel Hablutzel at
Tue Mar 3 21:23:30 PST 1998

> > Catriona Rowley asked:
> > Out of curiosity, what do different groups do with the
> > unclaimed items in their lost and found?
> Morgan Cely Cain wrote:
> The cleverest thing I saw done was with a group that held the items for a
> year.  At the anniversary of their loss (later, just at their biggest
> annual event, where most of the people were likely to attend) the items
> were put on display for claiming.  All unclaimed items were auctioned off
> at the end of the day, money to benefit the group.

And Karl von Augsburg asked:

>> Sounds interesting from the buyer's end, but what if, at some event,
>> the original owner notices you have their missing item? Assuming it
>> really was their lost item, you'd surely want to return it.
>> But who eats the cost?  Some of the nicer items may go for more than
>> a few dollars.  Would you eat it? Was that a condition of purchase?
>> Surely you wouldn't charge the original owner.  Would the group that
>> sold it re-imburse you?

The issue is whether the original owner made any attempts, in the
intervening year, to reclaim the item.  Contact the autocrat, seneschal, or
Baron/ess?  Attend other events or meetings and ask about or look for the
item?  Look at the event before the auction at the display?

With all the publicity, it was rather hard to not reclaim your stuff before
the auction.  ("Publicity" included a notice in the Kingdom newsletter,
repeat notices in the local newsletter, letters with the list of items to
seneschals in the area for reading at moots or whatever.)  A couple items
might be claimed as the auction started (and were given to the claimant at
no cost).

If someone could later prove that the item you had purchased at the auction
is his or hers, I guess it would be up to you to decide whether to simply
give it to him/her, or ask for a reimbursement or return.  I don't think
that the group is in any way at fault unless the item were marked in some
way as to readily identify the owner, and they ignored it and failed to
return the item.

If you have ever worked lost-&-found after an event, you know that there
are MANY items, and few if any have some kind of identification that would
help it return to its owner.  So, the person hoarding the L&F is left to
trust that those who notice that things are missing, will call in and ask
"was a such-and-so found at your last event?"  If the person cannot manage
to do this for a year, then obviously the item was so insignificant in the
person's life that s/he should not care whether someone else owns it.

Karl, it sounds as if you would have the groups hold onto L&F indefinitely
lest someone come in a long time to claimit.  How many years would you
wait?  The :&F can be fairly voluminous, and I would guess 20% is never

                                                ---= Morgan

           |\     THIS is the cutting edge of technology! 
           |/   Morgan Cely Cain * Hablutzel at
                          daytime: margolh at

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