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Rem and Personam

Land, Registered Land, Planning law etc.

Rem and Personam

Postby kachibibi » Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:59 am

Legal rights were said to be rights in rem; that is, rights in the land itself and hence generally could be enforced against any person who acquired an estate or interest in the land.

By contrast, equitable rights were only rights in personam; that is, rights which were enforceable against certain categories of person, because it was considered to be fair or equitable that they should take subject to them.

I am very clear about whom each of the above rights is enforceable against.

But I have a very basic question: why RIGHTS IN THE LAND are related to "BEING ENFORCEABLE AGAINST ANY PERSON"? Likewise, why "RIGHTS IN PERSON" are related to "BEING ENFORCEABLE AGAINST THE LIMITED GROUP OF PEOPLE"?

LAND is LAND. Why is it related to ANY PERSON?

PERSON IS THAT EQUITABLE OWNER: Why is it related to the LIMITED GROUP OF PEOPLE?

Where are the LINKAGES?
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Re: Rem and Personam

Postby atticus » Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:44 pm

Rights in the land are enforceable against any person who infringes those rights.

Rights in personam arise out of specific obligations which that person has assumed or to which that person is subject.
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Re: Rem and Personam

Postby kachibibi » Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:14 pm

Sorry, but I still cannot see the connections:

Legal rights were said to be rights in rem; that is, rights in the land itself and hence generally could be enforced against any person who acquired an estate or interest in the land. <<Why having "the right in rem i.e. legal rights" will result in it "being enforceable against any person acquiring the right"? In other words, what I want to ask is: why ACTION A will cause ACTION B? Unless one says there is no explanation because it is a law.

By contrast, equitable rights were only rights in personam; that is, rights which were enforceable against certain categories of person, because it was considered to be fair or equitable that they should take subject to them. <<again, why having "the right in personam" will result in it "being enforceable against those people"? Why ACTION A causes ACTION B?

I understand whom these rights are enforceable against. I just don't understand why A will cause B, unless you say the law says so and hence no explanation. Just like, for the legal right, having the right in the land--Okay, I know it is a right in the land. But WHY does it IMPLY it affects the people acquiring the right will be enforced against? It seems to me they are two separate things (though I know the law makes them connected).
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Re: Rem and Personam

Postby dls » Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:21 pm

Rights 'in rem' (in the thing) can attach to things other than land - ships for example.

Think of a right as being part of, or a characteristic of an object. A non-lawyer looks at a house, and sees it as the physical manifestation before him. A lawyer knows that in law it is a bundle of rights some of which are, perhaps, house shaped. A right of way is part of the land itself. The rights are attached to the land. The land and the rights are the same irrespective of the identity of the owner for the time being.

Again when you discuss a right, you are using a shorthand for 'a right of action'. As soon as you have that you begin to ask against whom might any action be taken.
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Re: Rem and Personam

Postby kachibibi » Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:37 am

Okay, as a summary:

1)the legal right= the land (as you say so).
2) with such a right, you will begin to think of against whom it is enforceable against.
3) and this right, as you said, binds on everything other than the land itself.

Again, 1) has no apparent connection with 2) and 3). Or 1) and 2) has no apparent connection with 3).

That means, when I think of the legal right= the land, it may STILL make me think that this signifies a right of action against somebody or something because you say "right" means "right of action". I can still accept that there is a connection between 1) and 2).

But I cannot see the connection between 2) and 3): it will not make me NATURALLY aware/think that having the right of action in the land necessarily means it is enforceable against everything other than the land. I think there may be one more thing that connects 2) and 3).
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Re: Rem and Personam

Postby atticus » Tue Jun 23, 2015 6:19 am

You need to do more work on understanding the NATURE of the RIGHTS.

Once you understand the rights, understanding against WHOM they may be enforced (and WHY) becomes easier.
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Re: Rem and Personam

Postby theycantdothat » Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:45 am

The distinction between real and personal property is not about legal and equitable rights. Though the distinction is still of some significance, it is mainly historical. "Real property" was property which could be recovered by action. If you were dispossessed of land the court was obliged to order the dispossessor to restore it. "Personal property" was property in respect of which the court could only order the dispossessor to either return the thing or pay its value. If dispossessed of your suit of armour whether you got it back or were paid its value was at the choice of the dispossessor.

Leases of land were outside the feudal system and were initially regarded as purely contractual arrangements so that if you were dispossessed there was no obligation to allow you back into occupation. They were therefore (and remain) personal property, but are classified as "chattels real" because they are both interests in land as well as contracts.

So, whilst civil law systems make a straightforward distinction between moveable and immoveable property, the classification under the common law is more complex:

Land consists of (a) realty, in effect now freehold land and (b) chattels real, in effect leasehold land.

Personal property consists of (a) chattels real and (b) pure personalty, i.e. (i) things in being e.g. cars, clothes and computers, and (ii) things in action e.g. shares and debts.
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