Define: Contrectatio

Full Definition Of Contrectatio

Contrectatio is a legal term referring to the act of touching or handling an object with the intent to claim ownership or possession of it. It is often used in property law to determine the transfer of ownership or possession of a physical object. Contrectatio can be a crucial element in establishing the rights and liabilities of parties involved in a dispute over ownership or possession of an object.

Contrectatio FAQ'S

Contrectatio is a legal term that refers to the act of touching or handling someone else’s property without their permission.

Yes, contrectatio can be considered a crime if it involves unauthorized touching or handling of someone else’s property. It may be classified as theft or trespassing, depending on the circumstances.

The consequences of contrectatio can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances of the case. It may result in criminal charges, fines, restitution, or even imprisonment.

In some cases, contrectatio may be justified if it falls under the legal concept of consent or necessity. For example, a doctor touching a patient’s body during a medical examination would be considered justified contrectatio.

Yes, contrectatio can also be considered a civil offense. If someone’s property is damaged or devalued as a result of unauthorized handling, the owner may have grounds to file a civil lawsuit for damages.

To prove contrectatio in a legal case, the plaintiff must provide evidence that the defendant touched or handled their property without permission. This can include witness testimonies, surveillance footage, or any other relevant evidence.

Yes, there are several defences that can be used against contrectatio charges. These may include lack of intent, mistake of fact, consent, necessity, or even proving that the property in question was abandoned.

The classification of contrectatio as a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the jurisdiction and the value of the property involved. In some cases, it may be charged as a misdemeanor for lower-value items and as a felony for higher-value items.

Contrectatio itself may not be considered a form of harassment, as it primarily deals with unauthorized handling of property. However, if the act of contrectatio is done with the intention to harass or intimidate someone, it may be linked to harassment charges.

Related Phrases
No related content found.

This site contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. Persuing this glossary does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

This glossary post was last updated: 17th April 2024.

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

  • Page URL:
  • Modern Language Association (MLA):Contrectatio. DLS Solicitors. May 24 2024
  • Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):Contrectatio. DLS Solicitors. (accessed: May 24 2024).
  • American Psychological Association (APA):Contrectatio. Retrieved May 24 2024, from website:
Avatar of DLS Solicitors
DLS Solicitors : Divorce Solicitors

Our team of professionals are based in Alderley Edge, Cheshire. We offer clear, specialist legal advice in all matters relating to Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Probate, Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection.

All author posts