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That which exists, not in fact, but as a result of the operation of law. That which takes on a character as a consequence of the way it is treated by a rule or policy of law, as opposed to its actual character.

For example, constructive knowledge is notice of a fact that a person is presumed by law to have, regardless of whether he or she actually does, since such knowledge is obtainable by the exercise of reasonable care.

For example, possession of the key to a safe-deposit box is constructive possession of the contents of the box since the key gives its holder power and control over the contents.


adj. a legal fiction for treating a situation as if it were actually so. Some examples help to clarify this term: although Jeremiah Gotrocks does not have the jewelry in his possession, he has the key to the safe deposit box and the right to enter so he has "constructive possession"; although there is no written trust document, George Holder has picked up $10,000 in bearer bonds from the post office box of his niece Tess Truehart who gave him her post office box combination while she was traveling in Europe--this makes Holder her "constructive trustee." (See: constructive fraud, constructive eviction, constructive notice, constructive notice, constructive possession, constructive trust)


(Creative), adjective advantageous, applicable, causative, contributive, convenient, desirable, developmental, effective, effectual, fabricative, favorable, formative, generative, helpful, important, improving, instrumental, invaluable, operative, originative, practical, productive, profitable, resultant, significant, stimulating, suitable, usable, useful, valuable, worthy, yielding


(Inferential), adjective apparent, assumable, conceivable, connoted, constructional, implicatory, implicit, implied, implied in law, in effect, in essence, in practice, indicated, indirect, indirectly meant, inferable, inferred, inferred in law, insinuated, involved, parallel, potential, pragmatic, presumable, presumed, probable, seeming, suggested, supposable, tacit, tacitly assumed, tantamount to, understood, virtual
Associated concepts: constructive contempt, constructive contract, constructive control, constructive conversion, conntructive delivery, constructive desertion, constructive essape, constructive eviction, constructive force, constructive fraud, constructive gift, constructive intent, constructive knowledge, constructive malice, constructive mortgage, constructive notice, constructive possession, constructive receipt, constructive total loss, constructive trespass, conntructive trust, constructively present
See also: beneficial, causative, interpretive, productive, virtual


deduced by inference or construction; not expressed but inferred, having a deemed legal effect.

CONSTRUCTIVE. That which is interpreted.
     2. Constructive presence. The commission of crimes, is, when a party is not actually present, an eyewitness to its commission but, acting with others, watching while another commits the crime. 1 Russ. Cr. 22.
     3. Constructive larceny. One where the taking was not apparently felonious, but by construction of the prisoner's acts it is just to presume he intended at the time of taking to appropriate the property feloniously to his own use; 2 East, P. C. 685; 1 Leach, 212; as when he obtained the delivery of the goods animo furandi. 2 N. & M. 90. See 15 S. & R. 93; 4 Mass. 580; I Bay, 242.
     4. Constructive breaking into a house. In order to commit a burglary, there must be a breaking of the house; this may be actual or constructive. A constructive breaking is when the burglar gains an entry into the house by fraud, conspiracy, or threat. See Burglary, A familiar instance of constructive breaking is the case of a burglar who coming to the house under pretence of business, gains admittance, and after being admitted, commits such acts as, if there had been an actual brooking, would have amounted to a burglary Bac. Ab. Burglary, A. See 1 Moody Cr. Cas. 87, 250.
     5. Constructive notice. Such a notice, that although it be not actual, is sufficient in law; an example of this is the recording of a deed, which is notice to all the world, and so is the pendancy of a suit a general notice of an equity. 4 Bouv. Inst. n. 3874. See Lis pendens.
     6. Constructive annexation. The annexation to the inheritance by the law, of certain things which are not actually attached to it; for example, the keys of a house; and heir looms are constructively annexed. Shep. Touch. 90; Poth. Traits des Choses, Sec. 1.
     7. Constructive fraud. A contract or act, which, not originating in evil design and contrivance to perpetuate a positive fraud or injury upon other persons, yet, by its necessary tendency to deceive or mislead them, or to violate a public or private confidence, or to impair or injure public interest, is deemed equally reprehensible with positive fraud, and therefore is prohibited by law, as within the same reason and mischief as contracts and acts done malo animo. 1 Story, Eq. Sec. 258 to 440.

References in periodicals archive ?
The Constructivist Learning Environment Survey (CLES) is an instrument that measures learners' degree of constructing their own knowledge and provides student perception of the nature of a classroom with respect to constructiveness (Taylor, Fisher, & Fisher, 1997).
Guidance to the board should include a reasonable and clear reminder about the importance of constructiveness and the concept of continuous improvement for all.
Interdependencies between the product, the employed manufacturing resources and the generated costs represent the basis of functional coherences between constructiveness characteristics and costs.
The stronger the ties of fellowship and solidarity amongst men, the greater will be the power of constructiveness and accomplishment in all the planes of human activity.
We explored what the key ingredients to cross-cultural dialogue might be and it is no accident that the principles of honesty, constructiveness, respect and understanding were highlighted," said Tom Le Feuvre of the UK.
My expectation is that Japan will want to demonstrate a leadership role on climate change and will want to show that they are taking things more seriously than we think they are,'' the chief of the CBI, Britain's most important business organization, said, adding that he hopes the summit would create an atmosphere of open-mindedness and constructiveness.
72) Under this model (which builds on earlier work with Brent Fisse on corporate crime), Braithwaite suggests that fault for criminal liability should be determined "reactively, on the basis of the constructiveness and restorativeness of his reaction to the problem caused by his act.
The five characteristics were (a) literal and figurative meaning, (b) elaboration in meaning, (c) external understanding, (d) relationship to other metaphor, and (e) accuracy and constructiveness.
A major problem with current debates about global economic governance is the wide gap between the clash of rhetoric and the cogency and constructiveness of detailed policy proposals and arguments.
One list included the following (4): Amativeness Philoprogenitiveness Inhabitiveness Adhesiveness Combativeness Destructiveness Secretiveness Acquisitiveness Constructiveness Self-esteem Love of approbation Cautiousness Benevolence Veneration Firmness Conscientiousness Hope Marvelousness Ideality Gaiety or Mirthfulness Imitation Individuality Configuration Size Weight and Resistance Coloring Locality Calculation Order Eventuality Time Melody Language Comparison Causality
It is common to deplore the incivility of twenty-first-century American politics, but today's political rhetoric is bland by the standards of a period when there was no agreement about the legitimacy, much less constructiveness, of political opposition.
Building on the insights of post-structuralism and deconstruction, which argue for the instability of categories, including identities, and focus on their social constructiveness, this cultural turn exists in sometimes uneasy relationship to cultural studies with its debt to notions of power in discourse endebted more to Foucault and Gramsci than Derrida.

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