By Sec. 1867 of the Civil Code of California, it is provided that "the finder of a thing is entitled to compensation for all expense necessarily incurred by him in its preservation, and for any other service necessarily performed by him about it, and to a reasonable reward for keeping it." See to the same effect: Massachusetts Revised Laws, 1902, ch. 94, s. 4; Missouri Annotated Statutes, 1906, Sec. 8479; North Dakota Revised Codes, 1905, Sec. 5481; Washington, Rem. & Bal. Anno. Codes, 1909, Sec. 7143; Wisconsin Statutes, 1898, Sec. 1616. One who takes up estrays is also entitled to compensation by statute. See Cummings v. Ellis, 1909, 140 Mo. App. 102; 119 S. W. 512; Illinois Revised Stat-
Beckwith v. Frisbie, 1860, 32 Vt. 559: Action to recover money paid by the plaintiff, owner of a cargo of oats, to the defendants, owners of a canal boat, for storage of the cargo. In the course of carriage the boat was caught by unexpected cold weather and frozen in the canal, where she was obliged to lie all winter. It was necessary for the safety of the boat and cargo that the oats should be removed and stored for the winter. The defendants procured this to be done, and having paid for the storage, required reimbursement from the plaintiff, who in order to get his goods complied with the demand. Aldis, J. (p. 568): "It is expense bestowed on the plaintiff's property and for his benefit; it preserves his property, but it does not aid the defendant's interest, which was simply to transport the cargo to New York. We think that equity between these parties requires that this expense should be borne by the plaintiff. And if he was so liable in equity he could not shift the burden on to the defendants by refusing to pay what it was his duty to pay. The law raises an implied promise on his part to pay the defendants for what they might be obliged to expend in preserving his property, when that duty was thrown upon them by their having his property in their care as carriers, and were prevented from completing their contract by an act of Providence. If he has paid it he cannot recover it back."1 utes, 1908, ch. 50, s. 7; Massachusetts Revised Laws, 1902, ch. 94, s. 7; Minnesota Revised Laws, 1905, Sec. 2772; Ohio, Bates Anno. Statutes, 1908, Sec. 6633; Wisconsin Statutes. 1898, Sec. 1611.
1 Accord: Preston v. Neale, 1858, 12 Gray (Mass.) 222, 224, (Action by a landlord, not an innkeeper, for storage of chattels left by an outgoing tenant. Held, that the landlord had no lien on the goods, but was entitled to reasonable compensation for storage. Said Metcalf, J.: "There is also an ancient authority on this point, to wit, Doctor and Student, c. 51, where is this passage: 'Though a man waive the possession of his goods and saith he forsaketh them, yet by the law of the realm the property remaineth still in him, and he may seize them after when he will. And if any man in the meantime put the goods in safeguard to the use of the owner, I think he doth lawfully, and that he shall be allowed for his reasonable expenses in that behalf, as he shall be of goods found; but he shall have no property in them, no more than in goods found.' "); Moline, etc., Co. v. Neville, 1897, 52 Neb. 574; 72 N. W. 854, (action by owner of building for storage of goods which had been part of stock of lessee). And see Great Northern R Co. v. Swaffield, 1874, L. R. 9 Exch. 132.
In re Bryant's Estate, 1897, 180 Pa. St. 192; 36 Atl. 738: Claim of one Lodge for services. Mitchell, J. (p. 195): "It appears that for several years before the death of Capt. Bryant, Lodge was his man of business for the collection of rents and the management of his real estate, as well as his confidential adviser in other matters. The sudden death of Capt. Bryant without known heirs left Lodge in charge and quasi possession as an agent without a known principal, and therefore with at least a moral duty to look after the property for the real owner, whoever he might prove to be. This duty the orphans' court found that he had performed in good faith, and was entitled to be compensated for. ... As a result of further consideration of this subordinate part of the case, we are not satisfied that the learned court below committed any error in holding that Lodge had rendered services to the estate for which he was entitled to be compensated, and in fixing the amount." 1
It is noticeable that in practically all of the cases in which a recovery has been allowed, the plaintiff was either a finder of the property preserved, or a custodian or bailee. This suggests that the right to compensation may grow out of a special interest in the property. But, upon principle, such an interest does not appear to be essential.