This page is continued from Civil Law Self-Help >>>> Section 5: Commence a Civil Action >>>> Types of Actions >>>> The 11 Historical Common-Law Forms of Action >>>> Forms of Actions to Recover Wrongfully Imprisoned, Detained, or Withheld Persons or Property:
1. A common-law action to recover personal property wrongfully taken or withheld by another. 
1. A common-law remedy for the recover in specie of chattels wrongfully withheld from the plaintiff.
See non-detinet; writ of detinue. 
1. A remedy under the common law for the recovery of wrongfully held personal property. 
personal property – any movable or intangible thing that is subject to ownership and not classified as real property: i.e. money, goods, chattels, movables, a right of action, evidence of debt, stock, bond, mortgage.
detinue sur bailment – [Law French] Hist. An action to recover property that the defendant acquired by bailment but refuses to return.
bailment – 1. A delivery of personal property by one person (the bailor) to another (the bailee) who holds the property for a certain purpose, usually under an express or implied-in-fact contract. Unlike a sale or gift of personal property, a bailment involves a change in possession but not in title. Cf. PAWN. 
Excerpt from Ray Andrews Brown’s The Law of Personal Property:
“The customary definition of a bailment considers the transaction as arising out of contract. Thus Justice Story defines a bailment as ‘a delivery of a thing in trust for some special object or purpose, and upon a contract express or implied, to conform to the object of purpose of the trust.’ [Joseph Story, Bailments 5 (9th Ed. 1878)] There has, however, been a vigorous dissent to this insistence on the contractual element in bailments. Professor Williston… defines bailments broadly ‘as the rightful possession of goods by one who is not the owner’ [4 Samuel Williston, Law of Contracts 2888 (rv. Ed. 1936)]…. It is obvious that the restricted definition of a bailment as a delivery of goods on a contract cannot stand the test of the actual cases. The broader definition of Professor Williston is preferable.” 
Excerpt from Bailments 8 Am. Jur. 2D):
“Although a bailment is ordinarily created by the agreement of the parties, resulting in a consensual delivery & acceptance of the property, such a relationship may also result from the actions & conduct of the parties in dealing with the property in question. A bailment relationship can be implied by law whenever the personal property of one person is acquired by another & held under circumstances in which principles of justice require the recipient to keep the property safely & return it to the owner.” 
pawn – n. (15c.) 1. An item of personal property deposited as security for a debt; a pledge or guarantee. In modern usage, the term is usually restricted to the pledge of jewels & other personal chattels to pawnbrokers as security for a small loan. 2. The act of depositing personal property in this manner. 3. The condition of being held on deposit as a pledge. 4. PIGNUS (1). — pawn, vb.
pignus – [Latin ‘pledge’] 1. Roman & civil law. (ital.) A bailment in which goods are delivered to secure the payment of a debt or performance of an engagement, accompanied by a power of sale in case of default. This type of bailment is for the benefit of both parties. — Also termed pawn; pledge. See PIGNORATIO; IMPIGNORATION.”
Excerpt from John George Phillmore’s Private Law Among the Romans from the Pandects:
“The ‘pignus’, pledge, is the right given to a creditor in the admitted property of another for his security; it is also used to signify the thing so given.” 
pignoratio – n. [Latin] 1. Roman law. The real contract (pignus) under which the debtor handed something over to a creditor as a security; the act of depositing as a pledge. — Also spelled pigneratio. 2. Civil law. The impounding of another’s cattle (or other animals) that have damaged property until the cattle’s owner pays for the damage. — Pl. pignorationes.
inpignoration – n. (16c.) Hist. The act or an instance of pawning or pledging. — impignorate, vb.
Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.
: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4
: 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
: 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.
: Ray Andrews Brown, The Law of Personal Property § 73 73, at 252, 254 (2d Ed. 1955): www.amazon.com/law-personal-property-Andrews-Brown/dp/B0006CJCSS
: 8 Am. Jur. 2D Bailment § 1 (1997): www.worldcat.org/title/bailments-reprinted-from-volume-8-am-jur-2d/oclc/11015816
: John George Phillmore, Private Law Among the Romans from the Pandects 210 (1863): https://archive.org/details/bub_gb__kOibZ2jn_IC
Back to Forms of Actions to Recover Wrongfully Imprisoned, Detained, or Withheld Persons or Property
Back to The 11 Historical Common-Law Forms of Action
Back to Types of Actions
Back to Section 5: Commence a Civil Action
Back to Civil Law Self-Help
Like this website?
or donate via PayPal:
Disclaimer: Wild Willpower does not condone the actions of Maximilian Robespierre, however the above quote is excellent!
This website is being broadcast for First Amendment purposes courtesy of
We look forward to hearing from you!