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Possession is one of the most debated topic in law because of the complexity of the concept that gives rise to innumerable legal consequences from the acquisition and loss of possession.

Nature of Possession

  • Pollock: Possession is the most basic relationship between man and things
  • Possession is the prima facie evidence of Ownership
  • Henry Maine: Possession means that contract with an object which involves the exclusion of other person from the enjoyment of it.

Kinds of Possession

  • Corporeal and Incorporeal Possession
  • Mediate and Immediate Possession
  • Concurrent Possession or Duplicate Possession
  • Constructive Possession
  • Adverse Possession

Acquisition of Possession

  • By Taking
  • By Delivery
    • Traditio Brevi Manu
    • Constitutum possessorium
    • Attornment
  • By Operation of Law

Possession under Roman Law

"Possession," in the sense of "detention," is the actual exercise of such a power as the owner has a right to exercise. The term "possessio" occurs in the Roman jurists in various senses. There is possessio simply, and possessio civilis, and possessio naturalis. Possessio denoted, originally, bare detention. But this detention, under certain conditions, becomes a legal state, inasmuch as it leads to ownership, through usucapio. Accordingly, the word "possessio," which required no qualification so long as there was no other notion attached to possessio, requires such qualification when detention becomes a legal state. This detention, then, when it has the conditions necessary to usucapio, is called "possessio civilis;" and all other possessio as opposed to civilis is naturalis. Sandars, Just.Inst. 274. Wharton.

Possession under Old English Law

The detention of a corporeal thing by means of a physical act and mental intent, aided by some support of right. Bract. fol. 38b.

Pedis possessio

A foothold; an actual possession of real property, implying either actual occupancy or enclosure and use. Lawrence v. Fulton, 19 Cal. 690; Porter v. Kennedy, 1 McMul., S.C., 357.

Possessio bona fide

Possession in good faith. Possessio mala fide, possession in bad faith. A possessor bona fide is one who believes that no other person has a better right to the possession than himself. A possessor mala fide is one who knows that he is not entitled to the possession. Mackeld. Rom. Law, § 243.

Possessio civilis

In Roman law. A legal possession, i. e., a possessing accompanied with the intention to be or to thereby become owner; and, as so understood, it was distinguished from "possessio naturalis," otherwise called "nuda detentio," which was a possessing without any such. intention. Possessio civilis was the basis of usucapio or of longi temporis possessio, and was usually (but not necessarily) adverse possession. Brown.

Possessio fratris

The possession or seisin of a brother; that is, such possession of an estate by a brother as would entitle his sister of the whole blood to succeed him as heir, to the exclusion of a half-brother. Hence, derivatively, that doctrine of the older English law of descent which shut out the half-blood from the succession to estates; a doctrine which was abolished by the descent act, 3 & 4 Wm. IV. c. 106. 1 Steph.Comm. 385; Broom, Max. 532.

Topics related to Possession

  • Reasons why possession is protected
  • Meaning of the term possession
  • Possession In Fact
  • Possession In Law
  • Elements of Possession
  • Corpus Possessionis
  • Animus Possedendi
  • Continuance of Possession
  • Relationship between Possession and Ownership
  • Possessory Remedies
  • Doctrine of Jus tertii
  • Possession under the Indian Law

Related Cases / Recent Cases / Case Laws

  • Bridges v Hawkeswroth
  • R v Riley
  • R v Hardling
  • Ancona v Rogers
  • R v Moore
  • Elves v Brigg Gas Co
  • South Staffrdshire Waterworks Co v Sharman
  • Hannah v Peel
  • Hibbert v Mc Kiernan
  • Merry v Green
  • R v Hudson
  • Ram Bahal and Another v Deputy Director of Consolidation Azamgarh and Others, Civil Appeal Jurisdiction, Civil Appeal No 3594 OF 2011, Supreme Court of India judgement dated October 8, 2015
  • Webb v Macpherson, (1903) 8 CWN 41 PC: In India, the cestui que trust cannot maintain as owner a suit for possession against trespasser, the ownership being vested in the trustee.

Related Topics