Pierson v. Post – 2 Am. Dec. 264 (N.Y. 1805)

Case Name: Pierson v. Post
Plaintiff/Appellee: Post
Defendant/Appellant: Pierson
Citation: 2 Am. Dec. 264 (N.Y. 1805)

Issue: Whether a trespass was committed when Pierson killed and carried off the fox that was being hunted by Post.

Key Facts: Post was hunting a fox with dogs and hounds and while he was hunting the fox, Pierson, who knew that Post was hunting, killed and carried off the fox.

Procedural History: The first court found for the plaintiff, Post.

Holding: A trespass was not committed although the conduct of Pierson was uncourteous towards Post, his act did not produce an injury or damage for which a legal remedy can be applied.

Reasoning: Based off Barbeyrac, the actual bodily seizure is not necessary constitute possession of wild animals; however, pursuit alone is insufficient to constitute possession.

Judgment: The second court reversed the decision.

Dissent: The dissenting opinion stated that property in animals may be acquired without bodily touch or manucaption, provided the pursuer be within reach, or have a reasonable prospect of taking, what he has thus discovered an intention of converting to his own use.