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A Civil Law term referring to the right of one individual to use and enjoy the property of another, provided its substance is neither impaired nor altered.

For example, a usufructuary right would be the right to use water from a stream in order to generate electrical power. Such a right is distinguishable from a claim of legal ownership of the water itself.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


the right of enjoying the fruits of property of another person, e.g. the wife of a deceased person living in an estate house until her death.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

USUFRUCT, civil law. The right of enjoying a thing, the property of which is vested in another, and to draw from the same all the profit, utility and advantage which it may produce, provided it be without altering the substance of the thing.
     2. The obligation of not altering the substance of the thing, however, takes place only in the case of a complete usufruct.
     3. Usufructs are of two kinds; perfect and imperfect. Perfect usufruct, which is of things which the usufructuary can enjoy without altering their substance, though their substance may be diminished or deteriorated naturally by time or by the use to which they are applied; as a house, a piece of land, animals, furniture and other movable effects. Imperfect or quasi usufruct, which is of things which would be useless to the usufructuary if be did not consume and expend them, or change the substance of them, as money, grain, liquors. Civ. Code of Louis. art. 525, et seq.; 1 Browne's Civ. Law, 184; Poth. Tr. du Douaire, n. 194; Ayl. Pand. 319; Poth. Pand. tom. 6, p. 91; Lecons El. du Dr. Civ. Rom. 414 Inst. lib. 2, t. 4; Dig. lib. 7, t. 1, 1. 1 Code, lib. 3, t. 33; 1 Bouv. Inst. Theolo. pg. 1, c. 1, art. 2, p. 76.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
"The right to continued occupancy of the Gull Lake reservation inextricably included usufructuary rights, including the right to fish on Gull Lake," the judge wrote.
This silence suggests that the Chippewa did not understand the proposed Treaty to abrogate their usufructuary rights as guaranteed by other treaties.
water rights are usufructuary rights rather than ownership of possessory rights[]; (2) access to water requires State permission in the form of a permit, license, or court decree; (3) access can be denied if the State determines that a higher or more efficient alternative use of water exists; and (4) reallocations are subject to State review.
His purchase included the Culebra Mountain, the only privately owned 14,000 foot mountain peak in the state of Colorado.(28) Taylor's deed contains language similar to the 1863 County Record, indicating he was fully aware that the descendants of the original settlers of the Sangre de Cristo grant had usufructuary rights to the property he was purchasing.(29) La sierra was adjacent to the individual tracts of property used by the original settlers for agricultural purposes and as common pasture lands [la vega?].
He said that their contention that the GPS government is only giving usufructuary rights to native territorial domain and thereby eroding the natives of their native customary rights land is totally misleading and mischievous.
The joint venture, which will be valid for 50 years and can be renewed for another 50 years, shall have the full development and usufructuary rights over the 288-hectare property.
These aboriginal title claims are claims to land and the various usufructuary rights practiced are parasitic on the underlying title.
Prescott held (1) that overlying landowners did not have vested ownership of the physical water beneath their lands, and instead only held usufructuary rights to use that water; and (2) that those usufructuary rights were appropriately subject to regulation.
In 1990, the Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa Indians and others filed suit in federal court against the state of Minnesota and others for a declaratory judgment that they retained their usufructuary rights under the 1837 Treaty and an injunction to prevent the State's interference with those rights.
(20) At its core, however, regulated riparianism separates itself from prior appropriation because the usufructuary rights it creates are for a limited time, so that when permits expire new entrants are in a position to seek allocation of the scarce water resource on the basis of a single set of standards.
It describes the territorial dimensions of usufructuary rights and tells how one Ojibway community at Keweenaw Bay, William Jondreau's home, reorganized itself as an Anishnabe state in the 1840s and early 1850s.
(35) able with the notion of usufructuary rights as 'incidents' of native title.