Abandonment

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Definitions

Description

The term abandonment has a multitude of uses, legal and extra-legal. This "signpost article" provides a guide to the various legal and quasi-legal uses of the word and includes links to articles that deal with each of the distinct concepts at greater length. Abandonment, in law, is the relinquishment or renunciation of an interest, claim, privilege, possession or right, especially with the intent of never again resuming or reasserting it. Such intentional action may take the form of a discontinuance or a waiver. This broad meaning has a number of applications in different branches of law. In common law jurisdictions, both common law abandonment and statutory abandonment of property may be recognized. Common law abandonment may be generally defined as "the relinquishment of a right [in property] by the owner thereof without any regard to future possession by himself or any other person, and with the intention to foresake or desert the right...."[1] Common law abandonment is "the voluntary relinquishment of a thing by its owner with the intention of terminating his ownership, and without [the intention of] vesting ownership in any other person; the giving up of a thing absolutely, without reference to any particular person or purpose....". An example of statutory abandonment in a common law jurisdiction is abandonment by a bankruptcy trustee under 11 U.S.C. § 554). In Scots law, failure to assert a legal right in a way that implies abandonment of it is called taciturnity.[1]

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See also