Charrier v. Bell – 496 So. 2d 601

Case Name: Charrier v. Bell
Plaintiff: Charrier
Defendant: Bell
Citation: 496 So. 2d 601

Issue: Whether the plaintiff was the owner of the artifacts which he excavated from burial sites on land that was owned by other nonresidents.

Key Facts: The plaintiff, an “amateur archeologist,” excavated 150 burial sites and other artifacts over the course of three years. He obtained consent of the caretaker of the plantation but did not obtained consent from the landowners. He sought to sell the artifacts he excavated but buyers would not purchase until he could prove he had title.

Procedural History: The plaintiff sought a declaratory judgment against the six nonresident landowners of the Trudeau Plantation confirming that he was the owner of the artifacts. The trial court found for the defendant.

Reasoning: The intent of those burying the people was not to abandon the artifacts.