Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
A lapse in succession during which there is no person in whom title is vested. In the law of estates, the condition of a freehold when there is no person in whom it is vested. In such cases the freehold has been said to be in nubibus (in the clouds), in pendenti (in suspension), and in gremio legis (in the bosom of the law). Where there is a tenant of the freehold, the remainder or reversion in fee may exist for a time without any particular owner, in which case it is said to be in abeyance. A condition of being undetermined or in state of suspension or inactivity. In regard to sales to third parties of property acquired by county at Tax Sale, being held in abeyance means that certain rights or conditions are in expectancy.
For example, until an order of foreclosure is granted by a court, a mortgagee does not have title to the property of a delinquent debtor that is the subject of a mortgage in those jurisdictions that follow the lien theory of mortgages.
1) n. when the ownership of property has not been determined. Examples include title to real property in the estate of a person who has died and there is no obvious party to receive title or there appears to be no legal owner of the property, a shipwreck while it is being determined who has the right to salvage the ship and its cargo, or a bankrupt person's property before the bankruptcy court has decided what property is available to creditors or alleged heirs. 2) legal jargon for "undetermined."
abeyancenoun arrest, cessation, check, deadlock, delay, desistance, discontinuance, discontinuation, halt, immobility, in dubio esse, inaction, inactivity, inertion, inertness, interim, interlude, intermission, interregnum, interruption, interval, lapse, quiescency, recess, recumbency, rem integram relinquere, repose, respite, rest, stalemate, stay, stillness, stoppage, suspension
Associated concepts: contingency, escrow, fee held in abeyance, held in abeyance, in expectation
See also: bar, cessation, check, cloture, desuetude, discontinuance, extension, halt, hiatus, inaction, interruption, interval, moratorium, nonuse, pause, pendency, respite, stay
abeyancesuspended. An indeterminate state of ownership, as when the person entitled to an estate has not been ascertained.
ABEYANCE, estates, from the French aboyer, which in figurative sense means
to expect, to look for, to desire. When there is no person in esse in whom
the freehold is vested, it is said to be in abeyance, that is, in
expectation, remembrance and contemplation.
2. The law requires, however, that the freehold should never, if possible, be in abeyance. Where there is a tenant of the freehold, the remainder or reversion in fee may exist for a time without any particular owner, in which case it is said to be in abeyance. 9 Serg. & R.. 367; 8 Plowd. 29 a. b 35 a.
3. Thus, if sn estate be limited to A for life, remainder to the right heirs of B, the fee simple is in abeyance during the life of B, because it is a maxim of law, that nemo est hoeres viventis. 2 Bl. Com. 107; 1 Cruise, 67-70; 1 Inst. 842, Merlin, Repertoire, mot Abeyance; 1 Com. Dig. 176; 1 Vin. Abr. 101.
4. Another example may be given in the case of a corporation. When a charter is given, and the charter grants franchises or property to a corporation which is to be brought into existence by some future acts of the corporators, such franchises or property are in abeyance until such acts shall be done, and when the corporation is thereby brought into life, the franchises instantaneously attach. 4 Wheat. 691. See, generally, 2 Mass. 500; 7 Mass. 445; 10 Mass. 93; 15 Mass. 464; 9 Cranch, 47. 293; 5 Mass. 555.