A bailment is different from a sale or a gift of property because it concerns only the transfer of possession, and not ownership. The library, or bailor, does not benefit from this transaction, but the patron, or bailee, certainly does. Rather than transferring ownership of the property to his son, John Doe bailor transfers possession or custody of the farmland to his son the bailee. A bailor could be a person who found a lost item such as a wallet dropped in a shopping mall. Responsibilities of a Bailor in a Bailment Agreement The bailor does not necessarily have to be the owner of the property they entrust to the bailee. The car owner is the bailor, and the valet is the bailee. This agreement is usually established under a contract of bailment. Tiered system[ edit ] In many jurisdictions the system of strict liability has been replaced by a tiered system of liability that depends on the relationship of the bailee to the bailor. In bailment agreements, the concepts of "reasonable care" and "entrustment" are crucial.
A common situation that creates voluntary bailment is when a person leaves goods with someone for service e. Liability[ edit ] No matter how a bailment arises, the bailee will incur liability in the taking of a bailment in some cases insuring the goods. A bailment ends when the parties agree to terminate the agreement or the purpose of the agreement has been achieved. Determining the type of bailment that existed was pertinent to assigning the appropriate level of responsibility to the bailee. Service agreement bailments , whereby the bailee agrees to perform a service for the bailor such as park or store a car. At trial , Hadfield called an Assistant Manager from another company to the stand. Failure to do so can lead to a variety of legal consequences. His adult son wants to move to the area and farm the land. For example, the bailor may need to leave something like a car with a bailee while he is out of town. The bailee is generally expected to take reasonable precautions to safeguard the property, although this standard sometimes varies depending upon who benefits from the bailment. The case was then escalated to the Supreme Court of South Carolina. Bailment can occur without compensation, however. Gratuitous bailments, whereby the bailor doesn't receive payment from the bailee for the bailment such as in free coat checks at a restaurant. Valets are not always paid per se for their services, but they do often receive tips, and tips will not be given for subpar service. The Court was tasked with determining the type of bailment that existed in this case. The bailee agrees to watch the car for the bailor without any promise of compensation, such as money or a gift, in return. If he fails to do so, the property is considered abandoned, and the terms of the bailment dictate that the bailee then becomes the rightful owner, and can do whatever he wants with the property. Strict liability[ edit ] The old common law held a bailee strictly liable for the bailment. A bailment that benefits the bailor only is one wherein the bailee acts out of the goodness of his heart. A bailor and the bailee should determine the type of bailment agreement they enter into, whether it is gratuitous, non-gratuitous, or bailment for mutual benefit. The property is also typically off-limits to the bailee in that he is not permitted to use it while it is in his possession, though this is not a requirement. Involuntary bailees[ edit ] An exception to all the above is the case of an involuntary bailee, one who by not intentional acts is made a bailee. Personal Property — Any item that is moveable and not fixed to real property. To explore this concept, consider the following bailor definition. If a person agrees to accept a fee or other good consideration for holding possession of goods, they are generally held to a higher standard of care than a person who is doing so without being paid or receives no benefit. Rather than transferring ownership of the property to his son, John Doe bailor transfers possession or custody of the farmland to his son the bailee. However, if there is no clear term of bailment agreed upon, the goods cannot be considered abandoned unless the bailee is given notice that the bailor wishes to give up possession of the goods.
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