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Goods And Actions In Possession Notes

Law Notes > Property, Equity and Trusts 1 Notes

This is an extract of our Goods And Actions In Possession document, which we sell as part of our Property, Equity and Trusts 1 Notes collection written by the top tier of University Of New South Wales students.

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Class 3 & 4 - Goods Some introductory remarks are made about how possession is central to the idea of property and how even though the backbone of the law has been unchanged it has been incrementally developed by common law and in the UK been subject to sweeping legislative changes. Holmes, in The Common Law (1881) speaks of the concept of possession using two examples:


A bankrupt person does not lose possession of goods coming to him - this would be an invitation to all the world to scramble for possession of them (Webb v Fox); a rule which was justified on policy and convenience


The idea of someone hooking a fish or a whale which has developed through custom rather than any cogent and linear concept of property law o

He concludes saying that the law is a practical thing that should give effect to the primal instinct of one who attempts to take back what was dispossessed from him

Goods There exists a distinction between real property and personal property


Leases are considered as real property


Personal Property that are either


1. Choses in Possession (capable of being held in physical possession - jewellery etc.)

2. Choses in Action (intangible property like debt, shares etc.)

Three actions lie against one for wrongful interference with possession:

1. Trespass - interference with actual possession

2. Conversion - A suit lies where a positive wrongful act of dealing with goods in a manner inconsistent with the rights of the owner, who has rightful possession and not necessarily absolute ownership, is made

3. Detinue - A suit lies where a plaintiff in actual possession or an immediate right to it where a defendant wrongly retains the goods following a lawful demand for themCompensation for both can be return of the goods or the market value of the goods. Return may be ordered if the goods have some special value to the plaintiff; this can be adjusted for improvements (McKeown v Cavalier Yachts (1988))

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