Monday, November 24, 2008

Bailment (1)

Bailment is an important legal concept.

Bailment is the process of placing personal property or goods in the temporary custody or control of another. The custodian or holder of the property, who is responsible for the safe keeping and return of the property, is know as the bailee. The person who delivers or transfers the property to the bailee is known as the bailor. For a bailment to be valid, the bailee must have actual physical control of the property. The bailee is generally not entitled to the use of the property while it is in his possession, and a bailor can demand to have the property returned to him at any time (
A bailment is not the same as a sale, which is an intentional transfer of ownership of personal property in exchange for something of value. A bailment involves only a transfer of possession or custody, not of ownership. A bailment is created when a parking garage attendant, the bailee, is given the keys to a motor vehicle by its owner, the bailor. The owner, in addition to renting the space, has transferred possession and control of the vehicle by relinquishing its keys to the attendant (Free Dictionary).
The main distinguishing feature of a bailment is that possession of the property is transferred to the bailee, but ownership remains with the bailor. Trusting my furniture to a warehousing company for storage is an example of a bailment. The warehouse has possession my furniture, but I am still its owner.

The second feature of a bailment is that the bailee is not entitled to use the property for their own purpose. The warehouse company is not entitled to use my furniture.

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