abandoned property – wherein all right, title, claim, and possession is voluntarily surrendered, relinquished, or disclaimed by the (former) owner, and not vested in another person

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abandoned property:

1. Property that the owner voluntarily surrenders, relinquishes, or disclaims.   Cf. lost property; mislaid property. [1]

1. Property to which an owner has voluntarily relinquished all right, title, claim, and possession with the intention of terminating ownership, but without vesting it in any other person and with the intention of not reclaiming future possession or resuming ownership, possession, or enjoyment. 1 Am J2d Aband § 1. [2]

1. Property of which the owner has voluntarily given up possession and control, and which she has no intention of reclaiming.
See abandonment of property. [3]

(1809) n.

1. The relinquishing of or departing from a homestead, etc., with the present, definite, and permanent intention of never returning or regaining possession. [1]

1. The act of voluntarily and totally relinquishing a right or property with no thought of reclaiming it or giving or selling ti to anyone else.
     Compare forfeiture; surrender; waiver. [2]

abandonment of property:

1. Intentional and absolute relinquishment of property without reference to any particular person or for any particular purpose. 1 Am J2d Aband § 1; 3 Am J2d Adv P § 77.

Abandoned property is that to which the owner has voluntarily relinquished all right, title, claim, and possession with the intention of terminating his ownership, but without vesting it in any other person, and with no intention of reclaiming possession or resuming ownership and enjoyment in the futue. 1 Am J2d Aband § 1.

Abandonment is the relinquishment of a right or property with the intention of not reclaiming it or reassuming its ownership or enjoyment. Ellis v Brown (CA6 Ky) 177 F2d 677, 13 ALR2d 945.

In marine insurance, the act of the insured in notifying the insurer that owing to damage done to the subject of the insurance, he elects to take the amount of the insurance in the place of the subject thereof the remnant of which he cedes to the insurer. 29A Am J Rev ed Ins § 1572.

Mining Law. “The term ‘forfeiture’ is often employed by miners as synonymous with abandonment.’  See Wiseman v McNulty, 25 Cal 230.
     See derelict; dereliction; presumed dereliction; renunciation; res derelicta. [2]

1. The act, by an owner of property, of voluntarily giving up possession and control of the property with no intention of reclaiming it.  Both real property and personal property may be abandoned  .  Copyrights, inventions, and patents may be abandoned if the owner permits a public use of them. [3]

Related Terms:

found property – appears to be lost or abandoned , and is recovered by another person.


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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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