Legal Definition and Related Resources of Recovery

Meaning of Recovery

The restoration of something that has been kept back or withheld from a person recovering. The obtaining of a thing by the judgment of a court as a result of an action brought for that purpose. To be successful in a suit to obtain a judgment; to obtain by legal process ; restoration of a right by judicial award . common recovery was a method at common law available to a tenant in tail and consisted of a fictitious real action based upon the doctrine that a tenant in tail could sell the entailed land for an estate in fee simple provided that judgment was obtained in favor of the tenant in tail and his heirs against someone for lands of equal value .

Recovery Alternative Definition

The restoration of a former right, by the solemn judgment of a court of justice. 3 Murph. (N. C.) 169. A common recovery is a judgment obtained in a fictitious suit, brought against the tenant of the freehold, in consequence of a default made by the person who is last vouched to warranty in suit suit. Bac. Tr. 148. A true recovery, usually known by the name of “recovery” siniply, is the procuring a former right by the judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction; as, for example, when judgment is given in favor of the plaintiff when he seeks to recover a thing or a right. Common recoveries are considered as mere forms of conveyance or common assurances. Although a common recovery is a fictitious suit, yet the same mode of proceeding must be pursued, and all the forms strictly adhered to, which are necessary to be observed in an adversary suit. The first thing, therefore, necessary to be done in suffering a common recovery is that the person who is to be the demandant, and to whom the lands are to be adjudged, shall sue out a writ or praecipe against the tenant of the freehold; when such tenant is usually called the “tenant to the praecipe.” In obedience to this writ, the tenant appears in court, either in person or by his attorney; but, instead of defending the title to the land himself, he calls on some other person, who, upon the original purchase, is supposed to have warranted the title, and prays that the person may be called in to defend the title which he warranted, or otherwise to give the tenant lands of equal value to those he shall lose by the defect of his warranty. This is called the “voucher vocatio,” or “calling to warranty.” The person thus called to warrant, who is usually called the “vouchee,” appears in court, is impleaded, and enters into the warranty, by which means he takes upon himself the defense of the land. The defendant then desires leave of the court to imparl, or confer with the vouchee in private, which is granted of course. Soon after the demandant returns into court, but the vouchee disappears or makes default, in consequence of which it is presumed by the court that he has no title to the lands demanded in the writ, , and therefore cannot defend them; whereupon judgment is given for the demandant, now called the “recoverer,” to recover the lands in question against the tenant, and for the tenant to recover against the vouchee lands of equal value in recompense for those so warranted by him, and now lost by his default. This is called the “recompense of recovery in value;” but as it is customary for the crier of the court to act, who is hence called the “common vouchee,” the tenant can only have a nominal and not a real recompense for the land thus recovered against him by the demandant. A writ of habere facias is then sued out, directed to the sheriff of the County in which the lands thus recovered are situated, and on the execution and return of the writ the recovery is completed. The recovery here described is with single voucher; but a recovery may be, and is frequently, suffered with double, treble, or further voucher, as the exigency of the case may require, in which case there are several judgments against the several vouchees. Common recoveries were invented by the ecclesiastics in order to evade the statute of mortmain, by which they were prohibited from purchasing, or receiving under the pretense of a free gift, any land or tenements whatever. They have been used in some states for the purpose of breaking the entail of estates. See, generally. Cruise, Dig. tit. 36; 2 Wm. Saund. 42, note 7; 4 Kent, Comm. 487; Pigot, Comm. Rec. passim. All the learning in relation to common recoveries is nearly obsolete, as they are out of use. Rey, a French writer, in his work Des Institutions Judiciares de I'Angleterres (torn. ii. p. 221), points out what appears to him the absurdity of a common recovery. As to common recoveries, see 3 Serg. & R. (Pa.) 435; 9 Serg. & R. (Pa.) 330; 1 Yeates (Pa.) 244; 4 Yeates (Pa.) 413; 1 Whart. (Pa.) 139, 151; 2 Rawle (Pa.) 168; 6 Pa. St. 45; 2 Halst. (N. J.) 47; 5 Mass. 438; 6 Mass. 328; 8 Mass. 34; 3 Har. & J. (Md.) 292.

Synonyms of Recovery

(Award), noun

  • compensation
  • damages
  • defrayal
  • discharge
  • financial remuneration
  • indemnification
  • indemnity
  • reckoning
  • reclamation
  • recompense
  • recoupment
  • redress
  • remittal
  • remuneration
  • reparation
  • repayment
  • restitution
  • satisfaction
  • Associated Concepts: primary recovery
  • recovery from an adversaryFOREIGN phrases: Frustra agit qui judicium prosequi nequit cum effectu
  • He sues vainly who cannot prosecute his judgment with effect
  • Qui melius probat melius habet
  • He who proves most recovers most

(Repossession), noun

  • acquisition
  • evictio
  • obtainment
  • procuration
  • procurement
  • recapture
  • reclamation
  • recouping
  • redemption
  • regaining
  • regainment
  • replevin
  • replevy
  • rescue
  • restoration
  • retrieval
  • return
  • reversion
  • revindication
  • salvage
  • trover
  • Associated Concepts: recovery of chattels

Related Entries of Recovery in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Recovery in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

ecovery in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Recovery in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Recovery in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Action, Air Rights, Assumpsit, Common Enterprise, Communicate, Contingent Fee, Defendant, Derelict, Dereliction, Dilatory Pleas, Dying Declaration, Ejectment, Facts In Issue, Insurance, Judgment Creditor, Judgment Debt, Judgment On Merits, Money Had And Received, Personal Action, Real Action, Recoupment, Replevin, Sequestration, Sound, .


You might be interested in these references tools:

Resource Description
Recovery in the Dictionary Recovery in our legal dictionaries
Browse the Legal Thesaurus Find synonyms and related words of Recovery
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Related topics Recovery in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Recovery is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)


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Recovery Definition (in the Accounting Vocabulary)

The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants offers the following definition of Recovery in a way that is easy for anybody to understand: Period in a business cycle when economic activity picks up and the gross national product grows, leading into the expansion phase of the cycle.


This term is a noun.

Etimology of Recovery

(You may find recovery at the world legal encyclopedia and the etimology of more terms).

mid-14c., “return to health,” from Anglo-French recoverie (c. 1300), Old French recovree “remedy, cure, recovery,” from past participle stem of recovrer (see recover). Meaning “a gaining possession by legal action” is from early 15c. That of “act of righting oneself after a blunder, mishap, etc.” is from 1520s.



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