Abandonment

Author:Jeffrey Lehman, Shirelle Phelps
 
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The surrender, relinquishment, disclaimer, or cession of property or of rights. Voluntary relinquishment of all right, title, claim, and possession, with the intention of not reclaiming it.

The giving up of a thing absolutely, without reference to any particular person or purpose. For example, vacating property with the intention of not returning, so that it may be appropriated by the next comer or finder. The voluntary relinquishment of possession of a thing by its owner with the intention of terminating ownership, but without vesting it in any other person. The relinquishing of all title, possession, or claim, or a virtual, intentional throwing away of property.

Term includes both the intention to abandon and the external act by which the intention is carried into effect. In determining whether someone has abandoned property or rights, the intention is the first and paramount object of inquiry, for there can be no abandonment without the intention to abandon.

Abandonment differs from surrender in that surrender requires an agreement, and also from FORFEITURE, in that forfeiture may be against the intention of the party alleged to have forfeited.

In the case of children, abandonment is the willful forsaking or forgoing of parental duties. Desertion as a legal concept, is similar in this respect, although broader in scope, covering both real and constructive situations; abandonment is generally seen as involving a specific and tangible forsaking or forgoing.

Property That Can Be Abandoned

Various types of personal property?such as personal and household items?contracts, copyrights, inventions, and PATENTS can be abandoned. Certain rights and interests in real property, such as EASEMENTS and leases, may also be abandoned. Suppose a ranch owner, for example, gives a shepherd an easement to use a path on her property so that the sheep can get to a watering hole. The shepherd later sells his flock and moves out of the state, never intending to return. This conduct demonstrates that the shepherd has abandoned the easement, since he stopped using the path and intends never to use it again. Ownership of real property cannot be obtained because someone else abandoned it but may be gained through ADVERSE POSSESSION.

Elements of Abandonment

Two things must occur for property to be...

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