Henry Hamilton sends a heart-felt message to the cretin who stole his Property textbook.
Dear person who stole my property law textbook,
I don’t know you. At least I hope I don’t. It’s a small cohort though, so the odds that we’ve met aren't low. It would be awkward to address this public accusation to someone I knew. I imagine it would be more awkward still to steal the property textbook of someone that you know, but I really don’t know how that feels. Maybe you do. You felon.
I exited a lunchtime clerkship seminar four weeks ago. Distracted by joyous thoughts of the firm’s “corporate culture” and “international opportunities”, I forgot to take my property textbook as I left. Ten minutes later, the absence of crippling pain in my back tipped me off to the absence of the textbook in my bag. It was just as absent in the lecture theatre. And, three weeks later, as absent in lost property. You thief.
I had my name, student number, and mobile number written in the front inside cover. So let’s not pretend it just couldn't be traced back to its rightful owner. You can also borrow that textbook from the library high use section, so don’t claim desperation as an excuse. I paid for that textbook out of Centrelink, not daddy’s trust fund, so don’t think that I’m loaded enough to just get a new one. You scumbag.
I would have been able to explain the torts of conversion, trespass to goods, and (after I’ve written this) detinue that you’re committing. But, sadly, I can’t. Because you stole my textbook. And yes, finders do have possessory rights, but only after making reasonable inquiries to find the true owner. Such as calling the number clearly written down in the textbook. You couldn't even write a hypo based on this because, with textbook or without, there is simply no ambiguity here. You criminal.
I am not even that annoyed about not having it anymore. As you can now confirm, that textbook is confusing, frequently wrong, and almost always made redundant by your lecturer. You've probably improved my mark by taking it off my hands. On the other hand, I did pay $160 for it. Unlike you, who paid 0 dollars (and your soul). I would make some argument about property rights, but, you know, no textbook. Maybe you can look it up. You Stalinist.
I am also disturbed that I couldn't put a textbook down for 10 whole minutes before someone racked it. Maybe this is reflective of the cut-throat atmosphere among the second years JDs right now. That would be saddening. You traitor.
I haven’t given up all hope. You could send an apologetic text right now. You could leave it at lost property, claiming to have just stumbled upon it. You could leave it above my locker – #201, level 1 – with a box of chocolates taped to the front. But I get the feeling you won’t. You heartbreaker.
Henry Hamilton Lindsay