Possessory Action – an action to obtain, recover, or maintain possession of personal or real property, but not title to it

possessory action:

1. An action to obtain, recover, or maintain possession of property but not title to it, such as an action to evict a nonpaying tenant. — aka possessorium. [1]

1. An action brought to recover possession of property.  An action to recover possession of real estate, such as ejectment.  An action to recovery possession of personal property, such as replevin.
     In Louisiana, an action to recover the possession of personal property is called a possessory action.  Preston v Sabrisky, 2 La 226, 227. [2]

1. An action brought to recover the possession of property, whether real property or personal property (EXAMPLES: eviction; replevin). [3]

     Excerpt from A.N. Yiannopoulos’s Property: The Law of Things, Real Rights, Real Actions (4th ed. 2001):

     “The possessory action is available for the protection of the possession of corporeal immovables as well as for the protection of the quasi-possession or real rights in immovable property.  It is distinguished from the petitory action which is available for the recognition and enforcement of ownership or of real rights in another’s immovable, such as a usufruct, limited personal servitudes, and predial servitudes. [4]


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[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition by Jack Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

[4]: A.N. Yiannopoulos, Property: The Law of Things, Real Rights, Real Actions 5 333, at 653 (4th ed. 2001).


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