Definition of DEDICATION in Black's Law Dictionary 4th Edition – Legal dictionary – Glossary of legal terms.

Definition of DEDICATION

In real property law. An appropriation of land to some public use, made by the owner, and accepted for such use by or on behalf of the public. Harris v. City of St. Helens, 72 Or. 377, 143 P. 941, 943, Ann.Cas.1916D, 1073. A deliberate appropriation of land by its owner for any general and public uses, reserving to himself no other rights than such as are compatible with the full exercise and enjoyment of the public uses to which the property has been devoted. Longley v. City of Worcester, 304 Mass. 580, 24 N. E.2d 533, 537; Consolidated Realty Co. v. Richmond Hotel & Building Co., 253 Ky. 463, 69 S.W.2d 985. See Alden Coal Co. v. Challis, 200 Ill. 222, 65 N.E. 665 (streets in company owned village) ; Du Pont v. Miller, 310 Ill. 140, 141 N.E. 423, 425 (artificial waterway) ; Western Union Telegraph Co. v. Georgia R. & Banking Co., D.C.Ga., 227 F. 276, 285 (right of way for telegraph lines) ; Manning v. House, 211 Ala. 570, 100 So. 772, 774; Mebane v. City of Wynne, 127 Ark. 364, 192 S.W. 221, (Streets on platted land) ; Johnston v. Medina Improvement Club, 10 Wash.2d 44, 116 P.2d 272, 277, (park and recreation purposes).

By Adverse User

A dedication may arise from an adverse exclusive use by the public under a claim of right with the knowledge, actual or imputed, and acquiescence of the owner. Carpenter v. City of St. Joseph, 263 Mo. 705, 174 S.W. 53, 56; Dickinson v. Ruble, 211 Minn. 373, 1 N.W.2d 373, 374, 375; Clark v. State, 25 Ala.App. 467, 140 So. 178, 179.

Tax Revenues

Statute dedicating certain tax revenues to hospital to be remitted directly from Secretary of State made a "dedication" rather than an "appropriation." State ex rel. Porterie v. Charity Hospital of Louisiana at New Orleans, 182 La. 268, 161 So. 606.

Express Common-Law Dedication

An "express common-law dedication" is one where the intent is expressly manifested, such as by ordinary deeds, recorded plats not executed pursuant to statute or defectively certified so as not to constitute a statutory dedication. Board of Com'rs of Garfield County v. Anderson, 167 Okl. 253, 29 P.2d 75, 78.

Express or Implied

A dedication may be express, as where the intention to dedicate is expressly manifested by a deed or an explicit oral or written declaration of the owner, or some other explicit manifestation of his purpose to devote the land to the public use. An implied dedication may be shown by some act or course of conduct on the part of the owner from which a reasonable inference of intent may be drawn, or which is inconsistent with any other theory than that he intended a dedication. Hurley v. West St. Paul, 83 Minn. 401, 86 N.W. 427; Porter v. City of Stuttgart, 135 Ark. 48, 204 S.W. 607, 608; H. A. Hilmer Co. v. Behr, 264 Ill. 568, 106 N.E. 481, 486; Village of Benld v. Dorsey, 311 Ill. 192, 142 N.E. 563, 565; Illinois Cent. R. Co. v. Bennett, C.C.A.Miss., 296 F. 436, 437; City of Brownsville v. West, Tex.Civ.App., 149 S.W.2d 1034, 1037, 1038.

Common-Law or Statutory

A common-law dedication is one made as above described, and may be either express or implied. A statutory dedication is one made under and in conformity with the provisions of a statute regulating the subject, and is of course necessarily express. Poindexter v. Schaffner, Tex.Civ.App., 162 S.W. 22, 23; Kaufman v. City of Butte, 48 Mont. 400, 138 P. 770, 771; Neill v. City of Glendale, 106 Cal.App. 553, 289 P. 877, 879.

Where complete statutory dedication does not exist, sale of lots by reference to plat constitutes common-law "dedication." Byam v. Kansas City Public Service Co., 328 Mo. 813, 41 S.W.2d 945, 949.

In Copyright Law

The first publication of a work, without having secured a copyright, is a dedication of it to the public; that having been done, any one may republish it. Bartlett v. Crittenden, 5 McLean, 32, Fed.Cas.No.1,076; Deward & Rich v. Bristol Savings & Loan Corporation, C.C.A.Va., 120 F.2d 537, 540 (partial publication).

Where copyrighted lectures were not delivered to the general public, but only to paying audiences and classes, they were not abandoned or dedicated to the public. National Institute for Improvement of Memory v. Nutt, D.C. Conn., 28 F.2d 132, 134.

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