Chattel – visible, tangible, movable personal property:

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(usu. pl.) (14c)

1. Movable or transferable property; personal property; especially, a physical object capable of manual delivery and not the subject matter of real property See chattel security under SECURITY (1). [1]

1. Property which is movable and not so connected with the ground as to be come a part of the real estate.  State v Donahue, 75 Or 409, 144 P 755, 147 P 548, 5 ALR 1121; visible, tangible, movable, personal property.  42 Am  J1st Prop § 24. [2]

1. Personal property that visible, tangible, and movable. Animals are included within the definition of chattel.  See movable property.
     See and compare personal chattels; real chattels. [3]

     Excerpt from Thomas Blount’s Nomo-Lexicon: A Law-Dictionary (1670):

     “That Money is not to be accounted Goods or Chattels, because it is not of it self valuable . . . . Chattels are either personal or real. Personal, may be so called in two respects: One, because they belong immediately to the person of a Man, as a Bow, Horse, etc.  The other, for that being any way injuriously withheld from us, we have no means to recover them, but Personal Actions.  Chattels real, are such as either appertain not immediately to the person, but to some other thing, by way of dependency, as a Box with Charters of Land, Apples upon a Tree, or a Tree it self growing on the Ground. . . . [O]r else such as are issuing out of some immoveable thing to a person, as a Lease or Rent for the term of years. [4]

Types of Chattel:

Chattel Personal – a tangible good or an intangible right (such as a patent). — aka personal chattel.

Chattel Real – a real-property interest that is less than a freehold or fee, such as a leasehold estate (considered a chattel because it lacks the indefiniteness of time essential to real property). — aka real chattel.

Chattel Vegetable – a movable article of a vegetable origin, such as timber, undergrowth, corn, or fruit.

Local Chattel – personal property that is affixed to land.

Unique Chattel – a chattel that is absolutely irreplaceable because it is one of a kind.

Legal Terms Pertaining to Chattel:

chattel paper – a writing that shows both a monetary obligation and a security interest in or a lease of specific goods.

chattel mortgage – an instrument which conveys a mortgage on personal property on installment, whereby the seller transfers title to the buyer but retains a lien securing the unpaid balance. Article 9 of the UCC

chattel lien. See mechanic’s lien under LIEN.

chattel mortgage. See MORTGAGE.

chattel-mortgage bond. See BOND (3).

chattel security. See SECURITY (1). 


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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 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.

[3]: Thomas Blount, Nomo-Lexicon: A Law-Dictionary (1670).


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