delivery – the (actual, constructive, or symbolic) voluntary transfer of possession

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n. (15c)

1. The formal act of voluntarily transferring something; especially, the act of bringing goods, letters, etc. to a particular person or place.

2. The thing or things so brought and transferred.  Cf. LIVERY (1). — deliver, vb. [1]

1. A handing over; the surrender of possession to another; a release from imprisonment.

As used in a statute against fraudulent conveyances, the word implies the surrender of the control of the property by the vendor and the assumption of possession by the vendee, and mere words will not constitute such a delivery. O. W. Perry Co. v Mullen, 81 Mont 482, 263 P 976, 56 ALR 514.

For some purposes, a delivery is accomplished by nothing more than making a thing available to another, placing it within his reach, notwithstanding there is no actual handing of the thing from one person to another. Ross v Pan American Airways, 299 NY 88, 85 NE2d 880, 13 ALR2d 319 (airline ticket). [2]

1. A handing over; the surrender of possession to another.

2. Under the Uniform Commercial Code, with respect to instruments, documents of title, chattel paper, or certificated securities, the voluntary transfer of possession.  Delivery is an important concept because some transactions are not legally complete in the absence of delivery; that is, delivery is an element of the transaction (EXAMPLES: delivery of deed; delivery of gift).  Delivery need not be actual.  It may be constructive or symbolic.
See and compare actual delivery; constructive delivery; symbolic delivery. [3]

absolute delivery (1808) A delivery that is complete upon the actual transfer of the instrument from the grantor’s possession.  *  Such a delivery does not usually depend on recordation.

actual delivery (17c) The act of giving real and immediate possession to the buyer or the buyer’s agent.

conditional delivery (18c) A delivery that passes possession subject to the happening of a specified event.  *  Possession passes immediately; title remains conditional.

constructive delivery (18c) An act that amounts to a transfer of title by operation of law when actual transfer is impractical or impossible.  *  For example, the delivery of a deposit-box key by someone who is ill and immobile may amount to a constructive delivery of the box’s contents even though the box may be miles away.  For the three traditional types of constructive delivery, see ATTORNMENT; CONSTITUTUM POSSESSORIUM; TRADITIO BREVI MANU.

good delivery Securities. A security’s delivery when the certificate (1) is in good condition, (2) belongs to the person transferring it, (3) is properly indorsed, and (4) is accompanied by any legal documents necessary for its negotiability.

jail delivery See JAIL DELIVERY.

second delivery (17c) A legal delivery by the depositary of a deed placed in escrow.

symbolic delivery (18c) The constructive delivery of the subject matter of a sale or gift by the actual delivery of an article that represents the item, that renders access to it possible, or that provides evidence of the title to it, such as the key to a warehouse or a bill of lading for goods on shipboard.

unconditional delivery (18c) A delivery that immediately passes both possession and title and that takes effect immediately.

delivery bond See forthcoming bond under BOND (2). [1]

1. A bond, otherwise known as a forthcoming bond or a redelivery bond, given by the defendant in an action aided by attachment, in obtaining the release of the attached property from the custody of the officer who seized it under the writ of attachment, although not from the lien of the attachment, the condition of the bond being that if judgment in the action is rendered against the defendant, the property shall be forthcoming to satisfy the execution on such judgment, otherwise that the sureties will be bound to the extent of the value of the property, in some instances, and to the amount of the indebtedness in other instances. 6 Am J 2d Attach § 523; a bond containing comparable conditions given in obtaining the release of property seized under a writ of execution. 30 Am J2d Exec § 277; a bond furnished by the defendant in a replevin action in having the property replevied returned to him. 46 Am Jlst Replev § 86. [2]

1. A bond given by a defendant to obtain the release of property that has been attached. [3]

delivery in escrow (1842) The physical transfer of something to an escrow agent to be held until some condition is met, at which time the agent will release it.  *  An example of such a delivery is a stock buyer’s transfer of cash to a bank that will give the seller the cash upon receiving the stock certificates.  This type of delivery creates immediate conditional rights in the promisee.  The device may be used to create an option contract in which the promisee has the option.  See ESCROW. [1]

delivery as an escrow – A delivery on some collateral condition, which must be consistent with the contract, on the happening of which condition alone the contract is to take effect. 28 Am J2d Escr § 1. [2]

delivery of deed (18c) The collective words or actions by which a grantor manifests an intent that the deed be immediately effective to transfer an interest in land to a grantee.  *  The classic form of delivery occurs when the grantor physically hands the deed to the grantee. But a deed can also be delivered by words or other conduct of the grantor showing an intent to be immediately bound by the deed, without any physical transfer of the document: “As a deed may be delivered to the party without words. so may a deed be delivered by words without any act of delivery.” 1 Coke on Littleton 36A (1628).

delivery of verdict -The declaration of a jury’s findings of fact at the end of a trial.

delivery order (18c) A written order to deliver goods, directed to a warehouseman, carrier, or other person who ordinarily issues warehouse receipts or bills of lading. UCC § 7-102(a)(5). [1]

     See claim and delivery; conditional delivery; constructive delivery; jail delivery; writ of delivery. [2]


delivery by carrier – The surrender of the goods by the carrier to the right person, in a proper manner, and at a proper place and time. 13 Am J2d Car § 406.

delivery of bill or note – A voluntary transfer of possession of the instrument. 15 Am J2d Com C 557.

delivery of deed – A condition of the Operative effect of the instrument. A transfer of the instrument from the grantor to the grantee or his agent or to a third person for the grantee’s use, in such manner as to deprive the grantor of the right to recall it at his Option, and with intent to convey title. Marshall v Marshall, 140 Cal App 2d 475, 259 P2d 131. A transfer of possession, either actual or constructive, from one person to another. Uniform Negotiable Instruments Act § 191. [2]

1. A deed will not transfer title unless it has been delivered, actually or constructively, by the grantor to the grantee or her agent.
   See and compare actual delivery; constructive delivery.

delivery of gift – An actual, symbolical, or constructive transfer of possession of the subject matter to the donee personally or to some person acting as his agent, trustee, guardian, or bailee, the operation of physically handing over giving way at times, as where the subject matter is bulky, to such acts and declarations as the situation reasonably permits, it being essential, however, whatever the act employed may be, that it manifest the donor’s intention to divest himself of title and possession. 24 Am J1st Gifts §§ 24 et seq.

To make a valid gift of corporate stock by assignment on a, separate document, the Uniform Stock Transfer Act requires delivery of both the separate document and the stock certificate. Lyons v Freshman, 124 Mont 485, 226 P2d 775, 23 ALR2d 1165. [2]

1. An actual, symbolic, or constructive transfer of possession of the subject matter of a gift to the person to whom the gift is made (the donee).  No gift can be made, in law, unless the giver (the donor) demonstrates his intention to transfer title by surrendering control and possession. [3]

delivery of insurance policy – An insurance policy becomes effective as by the delivery of the instrument where it appears that there is an intention to part with the control of the instrument and to place it in the possession or control of the insured, or some person acting for him, and an act evincing such a purpose. 29 Am J Rev ed Ins § 216. Mailing or otherwise delivering a policy to the agent of the insurer with unconditional instructions to deliver the instrument to the insured is generally deemed sufficient to constitute a delivery of the policy. Mutual Life Ins. Co. v Otto, 153 Md 179, 138 A 16, 53 ALR 487.

delivery of ship – As with other unwieldy property, the delivery may be purely constructive, and may be effected by delivery of the vessel‘s documents of title, which supplies not merely a symbol, but the mode of enabling the buyer to take actual possession as soon as circumstances permit. 48 Am J1st Ship § 67.  The transfer of a ship at sea by the delivery of a bona fide bill of sale, mortgage, or assignment in trust is valid, even as against the vendor‘s creditors, although possession is not given at once, provided the vendee takes prompt possession when the property comes within his reach. 48 Am J1st Ship § 69.

delivery of warehouse receipt – The voluntary transfer of possession from one person to another. Uniform Warehouse Receipts Act § 58.

delivery order – An order drawn by the owner of goods on the bailee of them, directing their delivery to a third party.

delivery service – The delivery of small packages by messenger or delivery boy, which, under some circumstances, puts the proprietor in a classification of a common carrier. Portland v Western Union Tel. Co. 75 Or 37, 146 P 148.

delivery to carrier – The placing of a shipment in the exclusive possession, custody, and control of the carrier for the purpose of immediate transportation, and an acceptance by the carrier. 13 Am J2d Car § 256.  It is a well-established general rule that when goods are to be shipped to the buyer, a delivery by the seller to a carrier designated by the buyer is a delivery to the buyer, on the theory that the carrier is made the agent of the buyer to accept the delivery. 46 Am J1st Sales § 172. [2]

     See gift.  See and compare actual delivery; constructive delivery; symbolic delivery. [3]


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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.


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