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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 ?
Liberal Democrats on Stockton Council are still prepared to work constructively with members of all parties to achieve the best possible outcomes for the people of Stockton.
A's alleged ability to sell his rights in 1989 does not mean he constructively received his entire winnings in that year.
future scrutiny hearings work better from all perspectives and that we can work together constructively to improve prosperity in the region.
The question," says Sherry Turkle, a technology researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, "is whether you can use it constructively to bring it back to the face to face.
Last year Mr Willie took the assembly to an employment tribunal alleging he had been constructively dismissed from his job after he failed to be re-appointed to head the equality policy unit when the post was re-graded.
As a rule, if an individual can choose between receiving money or some other benefit, the tax law considers the individual to have constructively received the cash, with the result that the value of the benefit is taxable as wages.
According to the Reverend James Martin-Schramm of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, "UNFPA's resolute and conscientious approach to working constructively with the Chinese government has been far more effective than the decision by the Bush administration to rescind funding.
A JUDGE has backed an employment tribunal which found a council auditor was constructively dismissed.
But far from crying like a baby about, it, he seemed to take it in stride constructively and not get all defensive, which is, I guess, how I usually intend it.
The council, through this reorganization, has manifested its will and its ability to respond constructively to a critical situation," said the WCC's general secretary, Konrad Raiser.
1m renovation of her estate, Salvatore Sampino, alleges that she broke tax and labour laws, used illegal immigrants to avoid tax, offered them minimal wages, did not pay overtime and constructively dismissed him by refusing to acknowledge his concerns.
Overall, though, Jenkins's argument about the cyclical nature of cult scares and the persisting similarity of accusations against new religious groups are well substantiated, and his perspective is constructively provocative.

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