Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Bailee Definition:

The person who receives property through a contract of bailment, from the bailor, and who may be committed to certain duties of care towards the property while it remains in his or her possession.

Related Terms: Bail, Bailor, Bailment

The person who receives property through a contract of bailment, from the bailor, and who may be committed to certain duties of care towards the property while it remains in his or her possession.

From the Fifth Edition of Halsbury's Laws of England (2011):

"To constitute a bailment, the actual or constructive possession of a specific chattel must be vacated by its owner or possessor (bailor), or his agent duly authorised for that purpose, in favour of another person (the bailee) in order that the latter may keep the same or perform some act in connection with it ..."

At 8 C.J.S. §3, the authors write:

"A bailor is the person delivering personalty under circumstances constituting bailment, and a bailee is the person to whom such property is delivered."

That same latter publication suggests as good examples of a bailee, the "owner of a shipyard who takes a vessel into his custody and control" as well as a "warehouseman and a carrier", and that the:

"... test to distinguish a bailee from a trustee is that the donor has completely divested himself of title to the property and to its increase."

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