Mislaid Property Law and Legal Definition

Mislaid property refers to a property that has been left intentionally in a certain place and later forgotten. When a property is left in a certain place by the owner with an intention to take it later and if the owner finds it difficult to locate the property later, then such property is called mislaid property. For example, a wallet found in a shop lying on a counter near a cash register will be regarded as misplaced rather than lost. Under common law principles, the finder of a misplaced object has a duty to turn it over to the owner of the premises. This based on the theory that the true owner is likely to return to that location to search for his/her misplaced item. However, if the true owner does not return within a reasonable time the property becomes that of the owner of the premises. Mislaid property is different from a lost property.