In this article, we are going to explain Different types of Possession in Jurisprudence. In law, it is difficult to define the concept of possession because there is no precise definition of possession. Possession means physical control over an object.  It is a factual as well as a legal concept. But, we can say that it is the physical custody, control, or occupancy of anything with a definite intention of ownership.


Possession means physical control over an object.

Different types of Possession in Jurisprudence

Kinds of Possession of possessions according to the law are as follows:

  • Corporeal possession.
  • Incorporeal Possession.
  • Mediate possession.
  • Immediate possession.
  • Constructive possession.
  • Adverse possession.
  • De facto possession.
  • De jure possession.

Explanation of Types of Possession

Types of possession detail are given below with examples.

Corporeal possession

Possession of a material or tangible object is called corporeal possession, thus it is the continuing exercise of a claim on the use of a material or tangible object. For Example House, car, cycle, pen, etc.

Incorporeal Possession

Incorporeal possession is the possession of intangible objects or non-material objects. Thus, it is a continuing exercise of a claim on the use of a non-material or intangible object. For example Trademark, goodwill, patent, copyright, etc.

Mediate Possession or indirect possession

Possession of things through a mediator (middleman) like an agent, friend, or servant is called medicate possession. It is also called indirect possession. If a house owner let his house to a tenant. The tenant is bound to hand over the house to the owner of the house whenever he decides. So the owner of the house has the mediate possession of the house through the tenant.

Immediate Possession/direct possession

When a possessor himself possesses the thing, we call it immediate possession. For example:  when anybody buys a pen from a shop and keeps it for himself.  The pen is in their immediate possession of himself.

Constructive Possession

When anybody gives his possession to anybody for any purpose is called constructive possession. For example when I give the key to my car to the driver.  Here my driver was the constructive possessor of my car until he delivers the key.

Adverse Possession

Adverse possession means the possession of some property or object, without legal title, for a specific time period, sufficient to become an acknowledged legal owner. For example Continuous use of private land or driveway or agricultural field of an unused piece of land.

De-facto Possession

De facto possession means the possession which exists in reality even if it is not legally recognized. For example, A common-law spouse can be considered as a de facto wife or de facto husband though they are not lawfully married, yet they live like a married couple.

De Jure Possession (types of possession)

De jure possessions are legally recognized possessions whether it exists in reality or not.  It is also known as juridical possession meaning possession in the eyes of law. For example, An owner of the house could cease a man living in a house without intending and to abandon it for good. It is a case of De jure possession.

Difference between Mediate and Direct Possession

Mediate possession is also called indirect possession in this possession object is possessed through the interference of some agency or another person. Example: If you tell a relative to purchase a cell for you from Pakistan and he purchased it and keeps it with him. This possession is called mediate possession until he will deliver it to you.
Immediate possession is also called direct possession when the object is possessed by him.
Example: If you purchase a chair from a shop and keep it with you, it is your immediate possession.

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