Petitory Action – an action for the recovery of real property by showing an proving title to ownership

petitory action:

1. Roman civil law. An action to establish and enforce title to property independently of the right to possession.

2. Civil law. An action for the recognition of ownership or other real right in immovable (or sometimes movable) property.  *  In civil-law systems, the petitory action (revendication) is a much broader and more effective remedy than the reivindicatio, the Roman prototype.  This action is based on, and tends to protect, real rights, that is, ownership and its dismemberments.  It is therefore a real action, distinguishable from personal actions based on (and tending to protect) personal rights.  Generally, the petitory action is available for the protection of the ownership of both movables and immovables.  In Louisiana, however, the petitory action is for the recognition of ownership or other real right in immovable property. brought by a person who is not in possession of it. La. Code Civ. Proc. art. 3651.  An action for the recognition of such a right in movable property is an innominate real action, known as a revendicatory action. — aka petitory suit; petitorium; revendication.

1. A proceeding at law for the recovery of real property, corresponding to the common-law action of ejectment, and which can only be maintained where the plaintiff shows a legal title to the property in himself, as distinguished from an equitable title.  Gilmer v Poindexter (US) 10 how 256, 267, 13 L Ed 411, 415. [2]


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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


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