interruption of possession (or prescription) – a break in the continuity of the possession of an adverse claimant in order to restore constructive possession to the owner

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1. A break in the period of possession of land, possibly ending a claim to ownership by prescriptive right. [1]


1. [Latin] Interruption. *  This word refers to a break in the possession of land that ends a prescriptive claim. [1]

1. Same as interruption. [2]

interruption of possession:

1. An interruption of the continuity of the possession of an adverse claimant; any substantial interruption in the possession of an adverse claimant. 3 Am J2d Adv P § 54. [2]

1. An interruption in the continuity of the possession of an adverse claimant (see adverse possession).  The effect is to restore constructive possession to the owner. [3]

interruption of prescription:

1. Any unambiguous act of the owner of land evincing his intention to exclude others from the interrupted use of the right claimed, thereby preventing the acquisition of an easement in the land by prescription. Red Star Yeast & Products Co. v Merchandising Corp. 4 Wis 2d 327, 90 NW2d 777.

Under the civil law, an entry by the owner into and upon immovables or his taking away movables. Innerarity v Heirs of Mims, 1 Ala 660, 674. [2]

Louisiana Law re: Interruption:

legal interruption – A break int he running of prescription that occurs when the property possessor acknowledges another person’s ownership right, or the owner (or obligor) sues the possessor (or obligor). La Civ. Code arts. 3462, 3464. – aka legal interruption of prescription.

natural interruption – a break of more than one year in a possessor’s period of possession after a rightful owner or a third person seizes the real property. La. Div. Code art. 3465. — aka natural interruption of prescription. [1]

Various Ways an Adverse User
May Be Interrupted

(and related terms):

dispossession – deprivation of, or eviction from, rightful possession of property; the wrongful taking or withholding of possession of land from the person lawfully entitled to it. — aka ouster; disseissin.

(action for) ejectment – a legal action by which a title holder who has been dispossessed and suffered damages seeks to recover possession, damages, and costs. — aka action for recovery of land.

eviction – the act or process of legally or illegally dispossessing a person of land or rental property.

  • actual eviction – physical expulsion (dispossession) of a person from land or rental property, as distinguished from constructive eviction.
  • eviction by paramount title – eviction by judicially establishing title superior to that under which the possessor claims, by evidence of one’s deed. — aka eviction by title paramount.

unlawful detainer – unjustifiable retention of the possession of real property by one whose original entry was lawful.

forcible entry and detainer – 

(1) entry onto real property peaceably in the possession of another, against his will, without authority of law, by actual or threat of force, followed by the withholding of such property; or

(2) a quick and simple legal proceeding for regaining possession of real property from someone who has wrongfully taken, or refused to surrender, possession (or their right to possession has expired or been lawfully terminated). — aka forcible detainer.


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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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