Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Property Law Dictionary

  • Money, gold, art, water, houses, barns, the Internet, insects, ghosts, playing cards, trade secrets ... as there is no limit to the human ingenuity of asserting property rights, the law has tried to remain vigilant. Awkwardly, at times, the law keep tracks of innovative and purportedly enforceable property rights, by a complex and at times overlapping catalogue of essential legal terms and concepts by which those rights are individually identified, catalogued and on which enforcement by a court of law may well depend. DUHAIME'S PROPERTY LAW DICTIONARY will get you safely onto and over the intellectual minefield of sometimes archaic, often illogical world, but always absolutely delicious world of property law. Oh, and by the way, DUHAIME'S PROPERTY LAW DICTIONARY is the property of Duhaime Legal Information Corporation. Just sayin'. For things fixed to the ground, or for tenant-landlord legal words and phrases, visit the very well-grounded Duhaime's Real Estate and Tenancy Law Dictionary.

Abandon
A giving up, a total desertion, an absolute relinquishment.
Abandonment
The leaving behind of property; an indifference as to the fate of a chattel.
Accessory
Persons who aid or abet the principal offender in the commission of the offence, before or after.
Appurtenance
Something that, although detached, stands as part of another thing.
Appurtenant Easement
An easement that runs with and serves a parcel of land known as the dominant tenement, distinguished from the parcel of land on which the easement is imposed (known as the servient tenement).
Bailment
The transfer of possession of something (by the bailor) to another person (called the bailee) for some temporary purpose (eg. repair or storage) after which the property is either returned to the bailor or otherwise disposed of in accordance with the contract of bailment.
Betterment
An improvement put upon a property which enhances its value more than mere replacement, maintenance, or repairs.
Cadastre
French: a database of real property data within a certain jurisdiction.
Chattel
Moveable items of property which are neither land nor permanently attached to land or a building, either directly or vicariously through attachment to real property.
Chose In Action
A property right in something intangible, or which is not in one's possession, but enforceable through legal or court action.
Colour of Right
A good faith assertion of a proprietary or possessory right to a thing.
Concurrent Estates
Property interests owned by two or more persons at the same time.
Coparcenary
The co-ownership of property which has devolved intestate.
Cuicunque Aliquis Quid Concedit Concedere Videtur Et Id Sine Quo Res Ipsa Esse Non Poluit
Latin: Whoever grants a thing is supposed also tacitly to grant that without which the grant itself would be of no effect.
Cuius Est Solum Ejus Est Usque Ad Caelum
Latin: whose is the soil, his it is even to the skies and to the depths below.
Domesday Book
An 1086 land census conducted in England.
Dominant Tenement
The property (i.e. tenement) or piece of land that benefits from, or has the advantage of, an easement.
Domus Sua Cuique Est Tutissimum Refugium
Latin: Every man's house is his refuge.
Easement
A legal right to the access over or use of another's land or waterway.
Escheat
Where property is surrendered to the government upon the death of the owner, because there is nobody to inherit the property.
Feudal System
A social and land-use debtor system in use in Europe during the Middle Ages.
Fixtures
A chattel which has become real property by having been affixed thereto.
Freehold
Use of real estate for an indeterminate time.
Garnishment
The seizing of a person's property, credit or salary, on the basis of a law which allows it, and for the purposes of paying off a debt.
Immovable
Land and fixtures thereto, civil law term.
Incorporeal
Legal rights which are intangible such as copyrights or patents.
Incorporeal Hereditament
An intangible right which is attached to property and which is inheritable.
Indefeasible
A right or title in property that cannot be made void, defeated or canceled by any past event, error or omission in the title.
Intangible Property
Incorporeal property; personal property that lacks a physical existence.
Joint Tenancy
When two or more persons are equally owners of some property.
Jus Disponendi
Latin: The right to dispose of a thing.
Money
An item accepted by all as payment for debts or for goods or services.
Movable
Civil law: things not attached to land and which may be carried from place to place.
Personal Property
Chattels, goods, property other than real property.
Property
A comprehensive collection of legal rights over a thing.
Pro Possessore
Latin: a person who holds something only as possessor, not necessarily as owner.
Quicquid Plantatur Solo, Solo Cedit
Latin: whatever is planted in the ground, belongs to the ground.
Real Estate
Same as real property; land and rights attached to land.
Res Derelicta
Latin: a thing abandoned.
Right to be Forgotten
A right to have personal information deleted from some second party's electronic or paper records or databases.
Sale
The exchange of goods or services for consideration.
Servient Tenement
The land which suffers or has the burden of an easement.
Sic Utera Tuo Ut Alienam Non Laedas
Latin: use your property in such a fashion so as to not disturb others.
Tenement
Property that could be subject to easements.
Title
The right or proof of ownership.
Transfer
Delivery from one person to another of property.
Transferee
A person who receives property being transferred.
Transferor
The person from whom title or ownership to property moves.
Trespass
Unlawful interference with another’s person, property or rights.

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