Up for Grabs: A Workable System for the Unilateral Acquisition of Chattels
This paper is about the everyday occurrence of coming across an object in the world and evaluating whether or not it is up for grabs. My project explores the shared space at the precipice of the laws of finders, abandonment, destruction, and conversion: a space we often inhabit, but wherein our rights in relation to an object are indiscernible ex ante under current law. I propose a system by which actors and courts may evaluate the reasonableness of a person’s actions from the moment he or she chooses to acquire a chattel unilaterally. My system derives from the signals chattels convey to us—signals that have everything to do with context and little or nothing to do with value.