possession is nine-tenths of the law

possession is nine-tenths of the law

Actually possessing or having custody of something represents a strong legal claim to it (moreso than simply claiming ownership). She's arguing that the antique stopwatch rightfully belongs to her, but possession is nine-tenths of the law.
See also: law, of, possession

Possession is nine-tenths of the law.

Prov. If you actually possess something, you have a stronger legal claim to owning it than someone who merely says it belongs to him or her. Dana may say he owns this house, but we actually live in it, and possession is nine-tenths of the law.
See also: law, of, possession

possession is nine points/tenths/parts of the ˈlaw

(saying) if you already have or control something, it is difficult for somebody else to take it away from you, even if they have the legal right to it
See also: law, nine, of, part, point, possession, tenth

possession is nine-tenths of the law

Custody presumes ownership. The basis of this legal maxim that comes down from the 17th-century is the commonsense observation that if you have control of something, chances are better than average that it's yours. Lawyers term it a rebuttable presumption: ownership is recognized unless disproved by someone holding a more valid claim. The phrase started life as “possession is nine points of the law,” which referred to possession's satisfying nine out of eleven factors that constituted absolute ownership. However, “nine-tenths” entered popular usage to reflect the idea that custody is 90 percent of legal ownership.
See also: law, of, possession
References in periodicals archive ?
There is no way possession is nine-tenths of the law.
It read: "Possession is nine-tenths of the law and the items were given as gifts by my grampa to his daughters.
The statement read: "Possession is nine-tenths of the law and the items were given as gifts by my grampa to his daughters.
in Instead, I sneak off and throw myself into the spare room, citing "possession is nine-tenths of the law" when he finds me.
Possession is nine-tenths of the law at international level so, yes, I agree with Sven - Wenger and England would be a perfect fit.
If possession is nine-tenths of the law, McKenzie-Willamette didn't have even one-tenth of what it needed to make the case that its certificate of need application for a new hospital in Eugene ought to be considered simultaneously with PeaceHealth's application to remodel Sacred Heart Medical Center on Hilyard Street.
As everyone knows, possession is nine-tenths of the law, so recognition of a right to possession might be a form of property right.
Owing something to Don DeLillos White Noise ("IBM, Coca-Cola, Sony," one character chants; "Porche, McDonalds, and Disney"), Channel Zero is similarly fascinated by a world in which surface seems all the depth we possess, possession is nine-tenths of the law, and behind which surface the real sealers of our fate bark, a world in which characters are "free market holograms," and where appropriation, distraction, manipulation, irreverence, and amnesia are what's for sale.
But possession is nine-tenths of the law and, if Ambrose turns in a match-winning performance, who would drop him?
With the theory that possession is nine-tenths of the law, there is no way United will allow Taylor to link up with the Under-21 squad for Tuesday's return in France regardless of the results of his scan.
POSSESSION is nine-tenths of the law. That is the rule Mickey Mellon lives by when he takes to the field for Tranmere.
THEY say possession is nine-tenths of the Law - and here's actor Jude Law taking the hand of on-off love Sienna Miller after flying thousands of miles to her side.
THEY SAY possession is nine-tenths of the law - so it would be crazy to miss out on Stuart Pearce at 6-1 to be appointed the permanent successor to Kevin Keegan as Manchester City boss.
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