pos·ses·sion /pə-'ze-shən/ n
1: the act, fact, or condition of having control of something: as
a: actual possession in this entry
b: constructive possession in this entry
c: knowing dominion and control over a controlled substance or other contraband
d in the civil law of Louisiana: the detention or enjoyment of a corporeal thing
e: control or occupancy of property
actual possession
1: direct occupancy, use, or control of real property
had actual possession of the land despite a lack of legal title
2: direct physical custody, care, or control of property or contraband (as illegal drugs)
actual possession is not necessary to sustain a convictionState v. Garrison, 896 S.W.2d 689 (1995)
adverse possession: actual possession of another's real property that is open, hostile, exclusive, continuous, adverse to the claim of the owner, often under a claim of right or color of title, and that may give rise to title in the possessor if carried out for a specified statutory period (as ten years); also: the method of acquiring title by such possession see also hostile possession and notorious possession in this entry compare prescription
civil possession in the civil law of Louisiana: possession that exists by virtue of an intent to be the owner of a property even though one no longer occupies or has physical control of it
constructive possession
1: possession that exists by virtue of a right (as by title) rather than direct occupancy or control
2: the knowing ability and sometimes intent to exercise dominion and control over something (as illegal drugs) either directly or through others
hostile possession: possession (as in adverse possession) that is antagonistic to the claims of all others (as a record owner) and that is carried out with the intention to possess the property exclusively
notorious possession: possession (as in adverse possession) that is so conspicuous that it is generally known by people in the vicinity of the property and so gives rise to a presumption that the owner has notice of it
precarious possession in the civil law of Louisiana: possession of property that is exercised by another (as a lessee) with the permission of or on behalf of the owner see also acquisitive prescription at prescription
2: something controlled, occupied, or owned
personal possession s

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I (ownership) noun authority, custody, demesne, domination, dominion, exclusive right, lordship, occupancy, possessio, proprietorship, right, right of retention, seisin, supremacy, tenancy, title associated concepts: action to recover possession, actual possession, adverse possession, chain of possession, constructive possession, continuity of possession, continuous possession, debtor in possession, estate in possession, holder in possession, hostile possession, lawful possession, mortgagee in possession, naked possession, notorious possession, open and notorious possession, party in possession, peaceable possession, person in possession, physical possession, purchaser in possession, quiet possession, right of possession, tenant in possession, undisturbed possession, uninterrupted possession, unlawful possession, wrongful possession foreign phrases:
- Traditio nihil amplius transferre debet vel potest, ad eum qui accipit, quam est apud eum qui tradit. — Delivery ought to, and can, transfer nothing more to him who receives than is in possession of him who makes the delivery
- Jus triplex est, – propietatis, possessionis, et possibilitatis. — Right is threefold, – of property, of possession, and of possibility
- In aequali jure melior est conditio possidentis. — In a case of equal right the condition of the party in possession is the better
- Pro possessione praesumitur de jure. — A presumption of law arises from possession
- Nihil praescribitur nisi quod possidetur. — There is no prescription for that which is not possessed
- Privatio praesupponit habitum. — A deprivation presupposes something held or possessed
- Duorum in solidum dominium vel possessio esse non potest. — Sole ownership or possession cannot be in two persons
- Cum de lucro duorum quaeritur, melior est causa possidentis. — When the question of gain lies between two persons, the cause of the possessor is the better.
- Longa possessio parit jus possidendi, et toll it actionem vero domino. — Long possession creates the right of possession, and deprives the true owner of his right of action.
- Aliud est possidere, aliud esse in possessione. — It is one thing to possess, it is another to be in possession
- Quod meum est sine facto meo vel defectu meo amitti vel in alium transferri non potest. — That which is mine cannot be transferred to another without my act or my default
- Quod meum est sine me auferri non potest. — What is mine cannot be taken away without my consent
- Nul charter, nul vente, ne nul done vault perpetualment, si le donor n'est seise al temps de contracts de deux droits, sc. del droit de possession et del droit de propertle. — No grant, no sale, no gift, is valid forever, unless the donor, at the time of the contract, has two rights, namely, the right of possession, and the right of property.
- Donatio perficitur possessione accipientis. — A gift is perfected by the possession of the receiver
- Melior est conditio possidentis, et rei quam actoris. — The condition of the possessor and that of the defendant is better than that of the plaintiff
- In pari delicto melior est conditio possidentis. — When the parties are equally in the wrong, the condition of the possessor is the preferable one
- Longa possessio jus parit. — Long possession begets right
- Donator nunquam deslntt possidere, antequam donatorius inciplat possidere. — A donor never ceases to possess until the donee begins to possess
- Non valet donatio nisi subsequatur tradMo. — A gift is invalid unless accompanied by possession.
- Nemo dare potest quod non habet. — No one is able to give that which he has not
- Terra manens vacua occupanti conceditur. — Land remaining vacant is given to the occupant.
- Non potest videri desisse habere qui nunquam habult. — A person who has never had cannot be deemed to have ceased to have it
- In pari causa possessor potior haberi debet. — In an equal cause he who has the possession has the advantage
- Cum par delictum est duorum, semper oneratur petitor et melior habetur possessors causa. — When there is equal fault on both sides, the burden is always placed on the plaintiff, and the cause of the possessor is preferred
II (property) noun asset, belonging, bona, chattel, effect, goods, holding, item, item of personalty, money, movable, possessio, res, resource, treasure, valuable foreign phrases:
- Non possessori incumbit necessitas probandi possess/ones ad se pertlnere. — It is not incumbent on the possessor of property to prove that his possessions belong to him
III index acquisition, chattel, compulsion (obsession), dominion (absolute ownership), enjoyment (use), habitation (act of inhabiting), holding (property owned), interest (ownership), item, occupancy, receipt (act of receiving), seisin, tenancy, title (right)

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

(1) The act of holding or controlling something; having visible control over something; physically occupying a property.
(2) A belonging; something that is held or owned.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

1. physical control or detention of a thing.
2. legal possession recognised and protected by law; inherent in this is animus possidendi, the intention to hold the thing against others.
3. one of the elements of ownership.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

Any article, object, asset, or property which one owns, occupies, holds, or has under control.
Category: Real Estate & Rental Property → Renters' & Tenants' Rights
Category: Wills, Trusts & Estates

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

The meaning of this term depends on the context and the legal senses of possession do not necessarily coincide with the common use of the word.
Possession may be a right in itself. It may mean effective, physical or manual control, or occupation of land or buildings. It may also refer to legal possession, which is the possession that is protected as such by law. Legal possession normally requires an intention to possess plus an appropriate amount of occupation or control. Legal possession may therefore be associated with occupation, but the two are separate and it is possible to have one without the other.

Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

n. Exercising dominion over property; having custody and control of property.
See also custody, ownership.
@ actual possession
Immediate physical control, and, therefore, occupancy, of real property.
@ constructive possession
Having the power and intention of exercising control and dominion of real property, but lacking actual presence on or direct control of same.
@ criminal possession
Unlawful possession of proscribed articles, such as drugs, assault weapons, and so on, or being in possession of something that individual is proscribed from possessing.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

The ownership, control, or occupancy of a thing, most frequently land or personal property, by a person.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

The ownership, control, or occupancy of a thing, most frequently land or personal property, by a person.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

   1) any article, object, asset or property which one owns, occupies, holds or has under control.
   2) the act of owning, occupying, holding or having under control an article, object, asset or property. "Constructive possession" involves property which is not immediately held, but which one has the right to hold and the means to get (such as a key to a storeroom or safe deposit box). "Criminal possession" is the holding of property which it is illegal to possess such as controlled narcotics, stolen goods or liquor by a juvenile. The old adage "possession is nine-tenths of the law" is a rule of force and not of law, since ownership requires the right to possess as well as actual or constructive possession.
   See also: possess

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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