We have all heard that “possession is nine-tenths of the law,” yet is the true? The expression likely originated through an old Scottish proverb that “possession is eleven points in the law, and also they say they are but twelve.” In America, the rule was used to decide an early dispute in the famous feud between the Hatfields and McCoys. In 1878, Floyd Hatfield and Randolph McCoy had a boil disagreement over the ownership of part pigs that had wondered ~ above Floyd Hatfield’s farm. Unable to fix their dispute, they lugged the matter before a regional justice the the peace, Preacher Anderson Hatfield. V the testimony divided in between the particular clans, Preacher Hatfield relied top top the “nine-tenths” principle once he ruled that the hogs must stay with the party in possession, Mr. Hatfield. That course, the truth the Preacher shared a last name through Floyd might have additionally influenced his decision. The McCoy family members was obviously not impressed through the Preacher’s decision, as their feud with the Hatfields ongoing until at the very least 1901 (and to be briefly revitalized during a 1979 illustration on the popular game display Family Feud).

You are watching: Possession is nine tenths of the law legal definition

While modern courts perform not formally watch the “nine-tenths the the law” principle, possession still problem today. In 1998, a Texas court acknowledged the “nine-tenths” principle however made clear that possession is merely part of a “hierarchy the title.” In re Garza, 984 S.W.2d 344 (Tex. App.–Amarillo 1998). The Garza court uncovered that if possession (in that case of a engine vehicle) trumps the claim of a party who has actually neither record title nor possession, mere possession is subordinate to the claims of a party having actually record title to the property.

The importance of possession on insurance claims to building is still reflected in at the very least a couple of legit doctrines. The theory of “adverse possession” awards legal location to real residential or commercial property to a party that has continuously populated land in spite of title to that property being organized by one more party.

The period for i m sorry an disadvantage possessor should occupy real property varies from state come state. Possession is likewise important come the “rule the capture.” Historically, this rule applied to offer ownership the game pets to the an initial person to capture the animal. In much more recent times, it has applied to provide title to herbal resources, like oil and gas, come the first person to take possession of the resource.

See more: 2008 Mazda 3 2.3 Oil Capacity ? 2008 Mazda Mazda3 2

In conclusion, while having possession of building rarely damages your claim, that is far from definitive. As soon as in doubt, call your lawyer.