Abandonment


Abandonment
Abandoned houses in Seacroft, Leeds, UK

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 [sic] 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...."[2] (emphasis added) [footnotes and citations omitted]. 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.

Contents


Types of Abandonment

Abandonment of Property

Intentional abandonment is also referred to as dereliction, and something voluntarily abandoned by its owner with the intention of not retaking it is a derelict. Someone that holds or claims abandoned property is an abandonee. A piece of abandoned land is a relinquishment. A res nullius abandoned by its owner, leaving it vacant, belongs to no one. Occupying an abandoned empty house without permission is squatting.

Abandonment of Easement

The relinquishment by a nonuser, for a specified period, of some accommodation or right in another's land, such as right of way or free access of light and air.

Abandonment of Domicile

Occurs when one ceases to reside permanently in a former domicile, coupled with the intention of choosing a new domicile. The presumptions which will guide the court in deciding whether a former domicile has been abandoned or not must be inferred from the facts of each case. In the United States, a tenant is generally understood to have abandoned a property if he or she has fallen behind in rent and shown a lack of interest in continuing to live there. The landlord must then send notice of the intent to sell the property and wait a certain number of days to take action on it. How long the landlord has to wait depends on the value of the property. The landlord can keep the money up to the costs incurred as a result of the abandonment; the rest must be set aside for the former tenant, should she or he eventually return.

Abandonment of Insurance

Abandonment occurs when the insured surrenders to the insurer all rights to damaged or lost property and claims payment for a total loss. Sometimes, this is permitted only when damage constitutes constructive total loss. In marine insurance parlance, abandonment involves the surrender of a ship or goods to the insurer, who becomes the abandonee. Abandonment can also mean refusal to accept from a delivering carrier a shipment so damaged in transit as to be worthless.

Abandonment of Copyright

Abandonment is recognized as the explicit release of material by a copyright holder into the public domain. However, statutory abandonment is a relatively unclear area of copyright law and the more common approach is to license work under a scheme that provides for public use rather than strictly abandoning copyright.

Abandonment of Trademark

Abandonment of trademark is understood to happen when a trademark is not used for three or more years, or when it is deliberately discontinued; trademark law protects only trademarks being actively used and defended.

Abandonment of Patent

Abandonment is relinquishment by an inventor of the right to secure a patent, in such a way as to constitute a dedication of the invention to public use.

Abandonment of Public Transportation Systems

Abandonment is permission sought by or granted to a carrier by a state or federal agency to cease operation of all or part of a route or service. Has a legal signification in England recognized by statute, by authority of which the Board of Trade may, under certain circumstances, grant a warrant to a railway authorizing the abandonment of its line or part of it.

Abandonment Rules in the Military

The abandonment of a military unit by a soldier, a Marine, or an airman; or of a ship or a naval base by a sailor; can be called desertion; and being away from one's assigned location for a significant length of time can be called "Away Without Leave", "Absent Without Leave", or "Dereliction of duty". However, the term "Dereliction of Duty" also includes the offenses of being present but not carrying out one's assigned duties and responsibilities with the expected amount of effort, alertness, carefulness, ingenuity, and sense of duty. It other words, it includes slacking off on one's responsibilities to a significant degree - and especially when allowing bad things to happen while slacking off.

Abandonment of Family

Desertion refers to intentional and substantial abandonment, permanently or for a period of time stated by law, without legal excuse and without consent, of one's duties arising out of a status such as that of husband and wife or parent and child. It can involve desertion of a spouse with the intention of creating a permanent separation. Desertion of one spouse by the other without just cause is called malicious abandonment. Child abandonment is often recognized as a crime, in which case the child is usually not physically harmed directly as part of the abandonment; distinct from this is the widely recognized crime of infanticide. Child abandonment is also called exposure or exposition, especially when an infant is left in the open.

Abandonment of a Patient

In medicine, occurs when a health care professional (usually a physician, nurse, dentist or paramedic) has already begun emergency treatment of a patient and then suddenly walks away while the patient is still in need, without securing the services of an adequate substitute or giving the patient adequate opportunity to find one. It is a crime in many countries and can result in the loss of one's license to practice. Also, because of the public policy in favor of keeping people alive, the professional cannot defend himself or herself by pointing to the patient's inability to pay for services; this opens the medical professional to the possibility of exposure to malpractice liability beyond one's insurance coverage.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ 1 Corpus Juris Secundum “Abandonment” § 2 (1985) (emphasis added) [footnotes and citations omitted].
  2. ^ Id.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • abandonment — aban·don·ment n 1: the act of abandoning property or a right: as a: relinquishment by an inventor of the right to enforce a patent see also dedication b: an author s relinquishment to the public domain of his or her copyrighted work c …   Law dictionary

  • Abandonment — • A term used by writers of ascetical and mystical books to signify the first stage of the union of the soul with God by conforming to His Will Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Abandonment     Abandonment …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Abandonment — A*ban don*ment ( ment), n. [Cf. F. abandonnement.] 1. The act of abandoning, or the state of being abandoned; total desertion; relinquishment. [1913 Webster] The abandonment of the independence of Europe. Burke. [1913 Webster] 2. (Mar. Law) The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • abandonment — The trustee s relinquishment of estate property that is burdensome or of inconsequential value to the bankruptcy estate (SA Bankruptcy.com) A process by which the court releases property from its control. This occurs when property of the estate… …   Glossary of Bankruptcy

  • abandonment — (n.) 1610s, from Fr. abandonnement, from abandonner (see ABANDON (Cf. abandon) (v.)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • abandonment — 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. State v. Bailey, 97 N. J.Super. 396, 235 A.2d 214, 216.… …   Black's law dictionary

  • abandonment — [[t]əbæ̱ndənmənt[/t]] 1) N UNCOUNT: oft N of n The abandonment of a place, thing, or person is the act of leaving it permanently or for a long time, especially when you should not do so. ...memories of her father s complete abandonment of her. 2) …   English dictionary

  • abandonment — controlling party giving up rights to property voluntarily. Bloomberg Financial Dictionary Allowing an option to expire unexercised. Also, withdrawal from a cancellable forward contract to purchase securities. Exchange Handbook Glossary * * *… …   Financial and business terms

  • abandonment — See abandoner. * * * ▪ property law       in Anglo American property law, the relinquishment of possession of property with an intent to terminate all ownership interests in that property. Abandonment may occur by throwing away the property, by… …   Universalium

  • abandonment — The act of giving up the ownership of something covered by an insurance policy and treating it as if it has been completely lost or destroyed. If the insurers agree to abandonment, they will pay a total loss claim (see actual total loss;… …   Big dictionary of business and management


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