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§ 72. Same: Trespassers
PERSONAL PROPERTY AND
ELLIOTT JUDD NORTHRUP,
A. B. (Amherst College)
Associate Professor of Law, University of Illinois.
NATURE OF PROPERTY RIGHTS.-CLASSIFICATION OF
§ 1. Property rights in rem and in personam. The word property is used loosely and with several meanings. For our present purposes we may say that the right of property in a thing is the legal right to exercise dominion or control over it. Rights are divided into those available against the whole world, known as rights in rem, and those available against one or more particular individuals, known as rights in personam. Rights in rem are the rights that the owner of land or goods has in them and with which no one may lawfully: interfere, and, hence, are said to be rights against all men. Rights in personam are those rights that one or more individuals have against one or more:other individuals and which exist against him or them alone, e. g., a right of action to re,
"the other obec oover a sum of money for failure to pay a debt or because of a.wrong done.
In the sense in which we have used the word property: we may say that rights in rem are property rights. The violation of a right in rem may create a right in personam. Thus, if A is owner of land his right therein is a right in rem. If B trespasses on the land he has infringed A's right in rem and A now has a right in personam against B, namely to bring an action against B and recover from him damages for the wrong done.
A right may be, in one aspect of it, a right in personam and, at the same time, a right in rem. Thus, in the case put, A's right in personam against B is itself with respect to all other persons a right in rem. It is property and, as such, a right that A holds against the whole world and with which no one may interfere.
Property rights may exist, then, over actual things perceptible to the senses, such as land, cattle, and goods, and, also, over other rights, mere abstractions of the law.
In either case the property right is a right in rem and, applying the word property to the object with respect to