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Natural Social Contract Annotations

Abandonment - Unpermitted Dumping

The reader will only be able to understand the purpose and meaning of this annotation and its relationship to the Natural Social Contract (NSC), if s/he has first read the Introduction section of the NSC and its explanatory and elucidating annotation.

1) Because they are both the result of Actions of the Freeman who was previously Possessor, I have chosen to include under the definition of Abandon both the standard meaning that the previous Possessor and/or Owner does not want to keep Possession or Ownership of the item of Property and has Intentionally terminated such Possession (also called dumping), and the situation where the previous Possessor simply has no knowledge of its current location and it is not within the boundaries of any of hir Possessions (normally called losing). Note that this clearly distinguishes the situation where an Object is lost within one's Possessions, which is not treated as Abandoned, from the situation where the Object is lost outside of one's Possessions, which is treated as Abandoned. The reason for this distinction is that the Effect of losing something on the Property of someone else is identical with dumping it there, and for the purposes of Harm Evaluation, Responsibility and Restitution, Effect is what matters, not Intent. If the Object lost outside one's Possessions is clearly distinguishable or has Owner identification on it and/or the finder (and new Possessor) is magnanimous, then s/he may return it, but since s/he has not Violated the Freeman who lost the Object, there is no Requirement on hir to return it or to make any other payment to the loser (unless those were the Stipulations of the usage Contract under which the losing Freeman was on the Property of the other). This is particularly true when s/he finds it inside hir own Possessions (see the similarity of this situation to that concerning an UnPermitting recipient of a Stolen item in the Annotation about Theft). This last case is also an example of dumping of a Material Existent across a boundary between two Parcels of Real Estate and is a Violation only if proscribed by a Covenant governing that boundary (see the Annotation about Real Estate for more detail).

2) The loss of knowledge of the location of an Object cannot reasonably be Abandonment as long as the Object is still within the Possessions of the Owner, because its acquisition by anyone else would generally be proscribed. If the Object is lost on the Real Estate, then Stipulations in Covenants would prohibit any Freeman from crossing the boundaries in order to Possess the Object (ie. it would be a Violation if s/he did). Even if a Freeman has the Entitlement to be on the Real Estate as part of an Egress Contract, such a Contract would likely contain Stipulations prohibiting the removal of anything on the Egress Real Estate. Finally, if the Possession in which the Object was lost was on some other Freeman's Real Estate by Contractual arrangement, again such a Stipulation prohibiting someone else (either the Real Estate Owner or another client/user) would almost certainly be a standard part of that usage Contract.

3) If an Object {is not Registered and is not Stolen and {is lost, Abandoned or simply not under Possession and Control} and is in UnOwned space}1, then any Freeman taking Possession of the item will have immediate Entitlement to Ownership of it just as if it were something that had never been Possessed or Owned. The reason why the non-Registration of such an Object is necessary for this Entitlement is because if it were Registered, acquisition of Ownership would not be able to occur by Acceptable Methods for transfer of Ownership. If the Object is Registered, not stolen and unattended in UnOwned space, then the finder is Entitled to Possess it and take it back to hir Real Estate. However, this would generally be impractical because hir Act of Permitting of an Object Registered to another Freeman to be located on hir Real Estate would automatically give RePossession Entitlement to its Freeman Owner.

The situation with a Stolen Object which is then Abandoned has been covered in the Annotation on Theft, except for the case of Abandonment in UnOwned space. However, any attempt to take Possession of such a Stolen Object even located in UnOwned space may not be practical, particularly if it is Registered, if Egress Real Estate Owners have Stipulations in their use Contracts prohibiting the transport of Stolen goods across their Real Estate (unless of course the finder Owns Real Estate which adjoins the UnOwned space). In addition, as before, since the finder would have Intentionally transported the Object to within hir Possession and thus, would have Permitted it to be there, the Owner's RePossession Entitlement would apply.

1. Curly brackets, { }, are used to make the logic of complex sentences and phrases clear.