ASSIGNMENT - Black's Law Dictionary

What is ASSIGNMENT? Definition of ASSIGNMENT in Black's Law Dictionary

A transfer or making over to another of the whole of any property, real or personal, in possession or in action, or of any estate or right therein. Bostrom v. Bostrom, 60 N.D. 792, 236 N.W. 732, 734. It includes transfers of all kinds of property, Higgins v. Monckton, 28 Cal.App.2d 723, 83 P.2d 516, 519. But is ordinarily limited to transfers of choses in action and to rights in or connected with property, as distinguished from the particular item of property. In re Beffa's Estate, 54 Cal.App. 186, 201 P. 616, 617. It is generally appropriate to the transfer of equitable interests. Kavanaugh v. Cohoes Power & Light Corporation, 187 N.Y.S. 216, 228, 114 Misc. 590.

To constitute valid "assignment," there must be perfected transaction between parties intended to vest in assignee present right in thing assigned. In re Lynch's Estate, 272 N.Y.S. 79, 85, 151 Misc. 549. It is contract, and is subject to same requisites as to validity as other contracts, such as proper parties, mutual assent, consideration, and legal subject-matter. Hutsell v. Citizens' Nat. Bank, 166 Tenn. 598, 64 S.W.2d 188.

The transfer of the interest one has in lands and tenements; more particularly applied to the unexpired residue of a term or estate for life or years; Cruise, Dig. tit. xxxii. (Deed) c. vii, § 15; 1 Steph.Com. 507.

The distinction between an "assignment" and a "sublease" is that an assignment transfers the entire unexpired term. Sandford v. Ambassador Restaurant Co., 247 N.Y.S. 655, 657, 139 Misc. 3.

The deed by which the transfer is made. Humphrey v. Coquillard Wagon Works, 37 Okl. 714, 132 P. 899, 902, 49 L.R.A.,N.S., 600.

A transfer of the title to a bill, note, or check.

An assignment at common law differs from an indorsement in that by an assignment the assignor passed title to the assignee but did not subject himself to any contractual liability, whereas an indorser, in addition to passing title, impliedly contracts to pay note at maturity on demand and notice on maker's failure to so do. Johnson v. Beickey, 64 Utah, 43, 228 P. 189, 191.

In patent law, the transfer of the entire interest in a patented invention or of an undivided portion of such entire interest as to every section of the United States. Rob.Pat. § 762. It differs from grant in relation to the territorial area to which they relate. A grant is the transfer of the exclusive right in a specific part of the United States. It is an exclusive sectional right. A license is a transfer of a less or different interest than either the interest in a whole patent or an undivided part of such whole interest or an exclusive sectional interest. Littlefield v. Perry, 21 Wall. 205, 22 L.Ed. 577.

A license is distinguished from an assignment and a grant in that the latter transfers the monopoly as well as the invention, while a license transfers only the invention and does not affect the monopoly otherwise than by estopping the licensor from exercising his prohibitory powers in derogation of the privileges conferred by him upon the licensee. Rob. Pat. § 806. See Pope Mfg. Co. v. Mfg. Co., 144 U.S. 248, 12 S.Ct. 641, 36 L.Ed. 423.

  • Assignment for benefit of creditors. An assignment in trust made by insolvent and other debtors for the payment of their debts. These are usually regulated by state statutes. Woodard v. Morrissey, 115 Kan. 511, 223 P. 306, 307.

The distinctive test between an "assignment" and a sale, where another creditor is to be paid off, is that in the former case such other creditor is to receive some of the property or its proceeds, and in the latter the creditor to whom title is passed takes for himself the whole property, stipulating to pay the other creditor out of his own means and not out of the property or its proceeds. Silver & Goldstein v. Chapman, 163 Ga. 604, 136 S.E. 914, 919.

  • Assignment of account. Transfer to assignee giving him a right to have moneys when collected applied to payment of his debt. Nanny v. H. E. Pogue Distillery Co., 56 Cal.App.2d 817, 133 P.2d 686, 688.
  • Assignment of dower. The act by which the share of a widow in her deceased husband's real estate is ascertained and set apart to her. Bettis v. McNider, 137 Ala. 588, 34 So. 813, 97 Am.St.Rep. 59.
  • Assignment of error. See Error.
  • Assignment pro tanto. Where an order is drawn upon a third party and made - payable out of a particular fund then due or to become due to the drawer, the delivery of the order to the payee operates as an assignment pro tanto of the fund. Doyle v. East New York Say. Bank, 44 N.Y.S.2d 318, 323.

Under Mechanics' Lien Law a workman or materialman who serves on owner a stop notice becomes an assignee pro tanto of debt due from owner to contractor. Commonwealth Roofing Co. v. Riccio, 81 N.J.Eq. 486, 87 A. 114, 115.

Check drawn on a bank operates as an assignment pro tanto of depositor's funds in favor of holder. Nat. Bank of America v. Indiana Banking Co., 114 Ill. 483, 2 N.E. 401.

  • Assignment with preferences. An assignment for the benefit of creditors, with directions to the assignee to prefer a specified creditor or class of creditors, by paying their claims in full before the others receive any dividend, or in some other manner. More usually termed a "preferential assignment."
  • Foreign assignment. An assignment made in a foreign country, or in another state. 2 Kent, Comm. 405, et seq.
  • General assignment. An assignment made for the benefit of all the assignor's creditors, instead of a few only; or one which transfers the whole of his estate to the assignee, instead of a part only. Royer Wheel Co. v. Fielding, 101 N.Y. 504, 5 N.E. 431.
  • Voluntary assignment. An assignment for the benefit of his creditors made by a debtor voluntarily; as distinguished from a compulsory assignment which takes place by operation of law in proceedings in bankruptcy or insolvency. Presumably it means an assignment of a debtor's property in trust to pay his debts generally, in distinction from a transfer of property to a particular creditor in payment of his demand, or to a conveyance by way of collateral security or mortgage. Dias v. Bouchaud, 10 Paige (N.Y.) 445.


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