Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Pro Possessore Habetur Qui Dolo Injuriave Definition:

Latin: he whose possession is taken away by fraud or injury will be deemed to continue to possess.

Related Terms: Pro Possessore

The full maxim is pro possessore habetur qui dolo injuriave desiit possidere.

It was translated by jurist S. S. Peloubet as:

"He is counted a possessor who by fraud or injury discontinues to possess."

A person who possesses a thing rather than owns it has limited rights but rights which, in many circumstances, may be eligible to evolve into full ownership. For example, property that belongs to no person and which may be claimed by a finder (bona vacantia).

To recognize those rights in the event that a person who is simply possesses - or holding onto - something and who has his thing taken away by fraud or theft, this Latin maxim was developed.


  • Duhaime, Lloyd, Legal Definition of Pro Possessore
  • Peloubet, S., A Collection of Legal Maxims in Law and Equity, with English Translations (New York: S.S. Peloubet Law Publisher, 1884)

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