The Law School Authority

People Ex Rel Koons v. Elling, Sheriff Case Brief

Summary of People Ex Rel Koons v. Elling, Sheriff, S. Ct. New York, 1948

Facts: Koons was realtor who removed money from the slot machines at a local Moose Lodge by drilling holes in the sides and inserting a device to trigger the money to fall.

Issue: Whether the slot machine money could be the subject of larceny when it was illegal to have slot machines?

Holding: Yes

Procedure: Def entered a plea of guilty then filed petition for habeas corpus relief.  Denied.

Rule: Theft is established by the taking of any thing of value.

Ct. Rationale: It is enough that the object taken has inherent value.  The def did not steal the slot machines, which were illegal, but the money therein, which is legal tender and has value.

PL A: The DF and his accomplices stole the money within the slot machine with the intent to deprive the owner.

Df A: The money was illegally in possession of the owner therefore there was no owner.

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