usucapio (yoo-z[schwa]-kay-pee-oh), n. Roman & civil law. The acquisition of ownership by long possession begun in good faith; esp., the acquisition of ownership by prescription. ? In classical law, the periods required were one year for movables and two for land. Under Justinian, the period was three years for movables and a minimum of ten years for land. See PRESCRIPTION (5).

¡ª Also termed usus (yoo-zoos); usucaption (yoo-z[schwa]-kap-sh[ schwa]n); usucapion (yoo-z[schwa]-kay-pee-on or -[schwa]n). [Cases: Adverse Possession

1. C.J.S. Adverse Possession ¡ì¡ì 2¨C5.] ¡ª usucapt, vb.

¡°There is no principle in all law which the moderns, in spite of its beneficial character, have been so loath to adopt and to carry to its legitimate consequences as that which was known to the Romans as Usucapion, and which has descended to modern jurisprudence under the name of Prescription.¡± Henry S. Maine, Ancient Law 236 (17th ed. 1901).

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