dispossession (disseisin, ouster) – 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

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n. (14c)

1. The act of wrongfully depriving someone of the freehold possession of property; DISPOSSESSION. — aka disseisitus. [1]

1. An ouster or wrongful dispossession of one in possession of real property who is seised of a freehold therein. 3 Am J2d Adv P § 52.

More broadly defined as the wrongful dispossession or exclusion of  a person entitled to possession. 25 Am J2d Eject § 47. [2]

1. Same as dispossession. [3]

     Excerpt from J.B. Ames’ The Disseisin of Chattels, 3 Harv. L. Rev. 23, 25 (1889):

     “The disseised owner of land loses, of course, with the res the power of present enjoyment, but this is not all.  He retains, it is true, the right, in rem; or, to use the common phrase, he has still a right of entry and a right of action.  But by an inveterate rule of our law, a right of entry and a chose in action were strictly personal rights.  Neither was assignable.  It follows, then, that the disseisee cannot transfer the land.  In other words, as long as the disseisin continues, the disseised owner is deprived of the two characteristic features fo property, — he has neither the present enjoyment nor the power of alienation. [4]

n. (16c)

1. 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; OUSTER (1). [1]

1. Changing from the possession of one person to that of another; ouster; a wrong or injury that carries with it the amotion of possession thereby getting the wrongdoer into the actual occupation of the land or hereditament, an obliging him who has a right to seek his legal remedy in order to gain possession, and damages for the injuries he has sustained.  See 3 Bl Comm 167. [2]

1. A forced or fraudulent changing of possession of land from one person to another; ouster.
     See ejectment. [3]

vb. (16c)

1. To take property or land away from; o oust or evict (someone) from property. [1]

1. To oust; to put out of possession. [2]

1. To oust; to put out of possession of real estate. [3]



1. The wrongful dispossession or exclusion of someone (especially a cotenant) from property (especially real property); DISPOSSESSION. 

1. A forced dispossession of real estate.  A disseisin.  The wrongful dispossession or exclusion from real property of a person entitled to the possession thereof. 23 Am J2d Eject § 47.

The eviction of a foreign corporation from the state, prohibiting it from doing business. 36 Am J2d For Corp § 439.
     See eviction. [2]

1. The dispossession from real property of a person entitled to possession.
     Compare ejectment; eviction.

2. A removal. [2]

vb. (15c)

1. To put out of possession; to deprive of a right or inheritance. [1]

1. To effect an ouster. [2]

1. To carry out an ouster. [3]

ouster by abatement – 1. Such an ouster as takes place where a person dies seised of an estate of inheritance, and before the heir or devisee enters, a stranger who has no right enters and gets possession fo the freehold. Brown v Burdick, 25 Ohio St 260, 268. [2]

ouster in pais – A dispossession or disseisin of a person in possession of land effected otherwise than by means of resort to legal proceedings. [2]

ouster judgment – A judgment against the defendant in ejectment. 25 Am j2d Eject § 122.

A judgment in forcieble entry and detainer callinf ro the restitution of the premises to the plaintiff. 35 Am J2d Forc E & D § 53.

A judgment in an election contest rendered against the contestee in possession of the office. 26 Am J2d Elect § 357. [2]

ouster le main – To remove the hand of the guarding.  To cause a ward’s lands to be delivered or releaed to him from the hands of the guarding upon the ward’s attaining his majority. See 2 Bl Comm 68. — aka ousterlemain.
     See livery. [2]

ouster of jurisdiction – A court’s loss of jurisdiction, usually because of events occurring after the action is brought. [3]

Types of Wrongful Evictions:

Constructive Eviction – a landlord’s act of making premises unfit for occupancy, often with the result that the tenant is compelled to leave.

Retaliatory Eviction – a nearly always illegal eviction that is commenced in response to a tenant’s complaints or involvement in activities with which the landlord disapproves of.


summary eviction. (1907) An eviction accomplished through a simplified legal procedure, without the formalities of a full trial.

total eviction. (1832) An eviction that wholly deprives the tenant of any right in the premises.

    Landlords & governing agencies must adhere to legally defined procedure in order to evict someone(s) from a parcel of land.  Tenants, or others considered in “possession” of a property can otherwise suffer property loss &/or have their lives endangered due to sudden displacement when not given ample time to relocate.  “Wrongful evictions” are a type of personal injury case.

Learn More:

Wrongful Eviction Cases from LegalMatch

How to Fight Wrongful Eviction Cases

Wrongful Eviction Cases from WhoCanIsue.com

Wrongful Eviction Cases from Nolo.com

Step-by-Step: What to Do If You Suffered Loss as a Wrongfully Evicted:

  1. Type a testimony regarding your experience.  When did you arrive?  Why did you come?  When & how were you informed that you needed to leave?  Did you lose any property as a result of the wrongful eviction?  Type as much as you can remember.
  2. Write an itemized list containing each piece of property you lost that was deprived from you as a result of being wrongfully evicted, & write an approximate price it would cost you to replace each item next to each item on the list if you had to go replace each piece of property.  Be honest.
  3.  If you were wrongfully evicted by a Federal Agency, download & fill out this FEDERAL TORT FORM SF95.  If it were a state agency or individual, more information coming soon.


Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.

[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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