Chose

Chose (pronounced: "shows", French for "thing"), is a term used in common law tradition in different senses. Chose local is a thing annexed to a place, such as a mill. A chose transitory is something movable, that can be carried from place to place. However, "chose" in these senses is practically obsolete, and it is now used only in the phrases chose in action and chose in possession.

A chose in action is essentially a right to sue. It is an intangible personal property right recognised and protected by the law, that has no existence apart from the recognition given by the law, and that confers no present possession of a tangible object. Another term is a thing in action.

A chose in action, sometimes called a chose in suspense, in its more limited meaning, denotes the right to enforce payment of a debt by legal proceedings, obtain money by way of damages for contract, or receive recompense for a wrong. Less accurately, money that could be recovered is frequently called a chose in action, as is also sometimes the document that represents a title to a chose in action, such as a bond or a policy of insurance—though strictly it is only the right to recover the money. Choses in action were, before the Judicature Acts, either legal or equitable. Where the chose could be recovered only by an action at law, as a debt (whether arising from contract or tort), it was termed a legal chose in action; where the chose was recoverable only by a suit in equity, as a legacy or money held upon a trust, it was termed an equitable chose in action. Before the Judicature Acts, a legal chose in action was not assignable, i.e., the assignee could not sue at law in his own name. To this rule there were two exceptions: (1) the crown had always been able to assign choses in action that are certain, such as an ascertained debt, but not those that are uncertain; and (2) assignments valid by operation of law, e.g., on marriage, death, or bankruptcy. On the other hand, however, by the law merchant, which is part of the law of England, and which disregards the rules of common law, bills of exchange were freely assignable. The consequence was that, with these and certain statutory exceptions (e.g., actions on policies of insurance), an action on an assigned chose in action must have been brought at law in the name of the assignor, though the sum recovered belonged in equity to the assignee. All choses in action being in equity assignable, except those altogether incapable of being assigned, in equity the assignee might have sued in his own name, making the assignor a party as co-plaintiff or as defendant. The Judicature Acts made the distinction between legal and equitable choses in action of no importance. The Judicature Act of 1873, s. 25 (6), enacted that the legal right to a debt or other legal chose in action could be passed by absolute assignment in writing under the hand of the assignor. This was later updated by the Law of Property Act 1925 s136.

Read more about Chose:  Chose in Possession

Other articles related to "chose":

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Chose in Possession
... A chose in possession is an item of tangible personal property that can be physical possessed by the owner and can be transferred by delivery ... Possession of a chose in possession is prima-facie evidence of ownership ... Chose in possession is opposed to chose in action, and denotes not only the right to enjoy or possess a thing, but also the actual or constructive enjoyment of it ...

Famous quotes containing the word chose:

    I was amongst the virtues like the great Turk in his seraglio of women, and I chose to dwell with that virtue which looked the fairest in my eyes and gave me at that season most pleasure. In short, I made wives of them: I first admired them, then made them my own property, and if they would not submit to my will, I again turned them off and divorced them.
    Sarah Fielding (1710–1768)

    Then he took his staff in his hand, and chose five smooth stones from the wadi, and put them in his shepherd s bag, in the pouch; his sling was in his hand, and he drew near to the Philistine.
    Bible: Hebrew, 1 Samuel 17:40.

    Write to the point: say immediately what you want to say most, even if it doesn’t “come first.” There are three reasons for doing this. First, you will then have said it, even if nothing else gets said. Second, your readers will then have read it, even if they read no more. Third, having said it, you are likely to have to say something more, because you will have to explain and justify what you chose to say.
    Bill Stott (b. 1940)