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Chattels personal = distinction between tangible (choses in possession) and intangible (choses in action)Chattels PersonalChose in Possession v Chose in ActionR v Hawcroft  ACTSC 145Accused was charged under the Crimes Act 1900(ACT) s 89 with 230 counts of theft of sums of money after she misappropriated proceeds of a trust fund which she was trusteeHer council argued that the property of beneficiaries she had stolen was a chose in action, not a sum of money, it was actually the debt the bank owedThe court upheld that it was a chose in actionand was acquittedKingdom v Western Australia  WASCA 74Supreme Court overturned above decision in AustraliaTrustee bought herself a house, and court of appeal convicted her stating that it was moneyPropertyPersonal PropertyChattels realChattels realpersonalChattels personaltangibleChoses in posession: tangibleintangibleChoses in action: intangibleintangiblesPure intangiblesintangiblesDocumentary intangibles
Unicomb v Official Trustee in Bankruptcy 99 FCR 1Before being discharged from bankruptcy (anything that comes into your hand goes to bank), building society demutualisedDid this decision create any property in hands of bankrupt?Held: not sufficient to vest any enforceable chose of action against the applicant, only when shares were issued at a later datePure Intangibles or Documentary IntangiblesDocumentary intangibles: title to goods, payment of money, negotiable securitiesPure intangibles: debts, goodwill and intellectual propertyPersonal Property can be held at law or in equityFundamentals of Personal Property:Ownership and PossessionTransfer of possession of personal property without a corresponding transfer of ownership may create a bailment, OR if purpose of transfer is to use property by way of security, creates a pledgeOwnership without possession will allow a creditor to retake (repossess) an asset if the person who has possession becomes bankruptTransfer of ownership without a transfer of possession gives the possessor rights over the goods which may end up with the owner losing their ownershipOwnershipDoctrine of tenures does not apply to goodsLegal title to goods is indivisible but more than one legal title can exist (two people exactly at the same time, true owner (stronger) v possessor (measured))oGatward v Alley (1940) A good title consists in having legal rights against the whole world, possession is enforceable except against true ownerPossessionGood root of title against whole world except true ownerForms basis of some security interests such as pledges, liens and baileesPossession often is the element that decides who owns “found” propertyGiven full protection of lawImportant element in making a giftApplies only in the case of physical property (that which is capable of possession). Purely intangible property cannot be physically possessedPossession/right to possession is a precondition for granting of some remedies (conversion)Possession in Fact v Possession in Lawo