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A method of acquiring a nonpossessory interest in land through the long, continuous use of the land.

Prescription refers to a type of easement—the right to use the property of another. It requires the use of the land to have been open, continuous, exclusive, and under claim of right for the appropriate statutory period. It differs from Adverse Possession in that adverse possession entails the acquisition of title to the property, whereas prescription relates to a right to use the property of another that is consistent with the rights of the owner.

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


n. the method of acquiring an easement upon another's real property by continued and regular use without permission of the property owner for a period of years required by the law of the state (commonly five years or more). Examples: Phillip Packer drives across the corner of Ralph Roundup's ranch to reach Packer's barn regularly for a period of ten years; for a decade Ralph Retailer uses the alley back of Marjorie Howard's house to reach his storeroom. In each case the result is a "prescriptive easement" for that specific use. It effectively gives the user an easement for use but not ownership of the property. (See: prescriptive easement)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


the process of acquiring rights, immunities or obligations as a result of the passage of time. Prescription is founded on the idea that a person who has enjoyed quiet and uninterrupted possession of something for a long period of years is supposed to have a just right, without which he would not have been allowed to continue in enjoyment of it. In particular, easements and profits maybe acquired by prescription if enjoyed without interruption for the appropriate length of time (usually 20 years in the case of easements and 30 years in the case of profits). Prescription may be:
  1. (1) under the common law rules,
  2. (2) under the doctrine of lost modern grant, or
  3. (3) under the provisions of the Prescription Act 1832.

In Scotland the word is used in a similar way in relation to the acquisition of rights. The positive prescription in Scotland is ten years. It allows a person who has possessed land openly, peaceably and without interruption on the strength of an ex facie valid recorded title covering the land in question, to obtain a good title to it. In cases of the acquisition of servitude rights or rights in the foreshore or salmon fishings, the positive prescription is 20 years. In Scotland the word prescription is used in a negative sense of shutting off stale claims in a way very similar to that sense denoted by the word limitation in England. Limitation was not a native Scottish concept. Thus, there is a five-year short-negative prescription that cuts off very many claims - the most significant being mostly claims for damages or payment with the exception of claims for personal injuries, which are dealt with by way of limitation. The main difference between prescription and limitation is that limitation must be pled whereas prescription operates by law and can be noticed by the court. There is in addition a long-negative prescription of 20 years, which shuts off claims not already closed by the limitation period or the short negative prescription or a category of obligation known as imprescriptible, the most significant of which are obligations under solemn deeds and the obligations of a trustee in respect of trust property. See also LATENT DAMAGE, LIMITATION, PRODUCT LIABILITY.

Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

PRESCRIPTION. The manner of acquiring property by a long, honest, and uninterrupted possession or use during the time required by law. The possession must have been possessio longa, continua, et pacifica, nec sit ligitima interruptio, long, continued, peaceable, and without lawful interruption. Domat, Loix Civ. liv. 3, t. 29, s. 1; Bract. 52, 222, 226; Co. Litt. 113, b; Pour pouvoir prescire, says the Code Civil, 1. 3, t. 20, art. 22, 29, il faut une possession continue et non interrompue, paisible, publique, et a titre de proprietaire. See Knapp's R. 79.
     2. The law presumes a grant before the time of legal memory when the party claiming by prescription, or those from whom he holds, have had adverse or uninterrupted possession of the property or rights claimed by prescription. This presumption may be a mere fiction, the commencement of the user being tortious; no prescription can, however, be sustained, which is not consistent with such a presumption.
     3. Twenty years uninterrupted user of a way is prima facie evidence of a prescriptive right. 1 Saund. 323, a; 10 East, 476; 2 Br. & Bing. 403; Cowp. 215; 2 Wils. 53. The subject of prescription are the several kinds of incorporeal rights. Vide, generally, 2 Chit. Bl. 35, n. 24; Amer. Jurist, No. 37, p. 96; 17 Vin. Ab. 256; 7 com. Dig. 93; Rutherf. Inst. 63; Co. Litt. 113; 2 Conn. R. 584; 9 conn. R. 162; Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.
     4. The Civil Code Louisiana, art. 3420, defines a prescription to be a manner of acquiring property, or of discharging debts, by the effect of time, and under the conditions regulated by law. For the law relating to prescription in that state, see Code, art. 8420 to 3521. For the difference between the meaning of the term prescription as understood by the common law, and the same term in the civil law, see 1 Bro. Civ. Law, 246.
     5. The prescription which has the effect to liberate a creditor, is a mere bar which the debtor may oppose to the creditor, who has neglected to exercise his rights, or procured them to be acknowledged during the time prescribed by law. The debtor acquires this right without any act on his part, it results entirely from the negligence of the creditor. The prescription does not extinguish the debt, it merely places a bar in the hands of the debtor, which he may use or not at his choice against the creditor. The debtor may therefore abandon this defence, which has been acquired by mere lapse of time, either by paying the debt, or acknowledging it. If he pay it, he cannot recover back the money so paid, and if he acknowledge it, he may be constrained to pay it. Poth. Intr. au titre xiv. des Prescriptions, Bect. 2. Vide Bouv. Inst. Theo. pars prima, c. 1, art. 1, Sec. 4, s. 3; Limitations.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Seeing that NPs are the primary care provider for thousands of New Brunswickers, and because of the current opioid crisis, NANB successfully obtained additional prescribing authority from the provincial minister of health for NPs to prescribe methadone for opioid dependency and methadone for pain.
Now prescribing is established practice for midwives with an endorsement for scheduled medicines; other health professions in areas such as dentistry, podiatry, pharmacy, and optometry now hold varying authorisations to prescribe. Nurses and midwives who prescribe and manage medications are subject to Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) regulatory requirements, and they must complete an approved post-graduate education program.
RNs authorised to prescribe in community health must have a minimum three years' clinical experience, with at least one year in the area of prescribing practice.
Postgraduate education would be required and would emphasise the fifth step of the HPPP, the maintenance and enhancement of competence to prescribe. Postgraduate education would focus on medicines required for advanced and extended level physiotherapy practice (such as muscle relaxants and opioids) where required for the individual's scope of practice and for the care of more complex clients/patients.
In a multivariate analysis, physicians who received a single meal related to the promoted drug were 1.8 times more likely to prescribe rosuvastatin than other statins, 1.7 times more likely to prescribe nebivolol than other beta-blockers, 1.5 times more likely to prescribe olmesartan than other ACE inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers, and more than twice as likely to prescribe desvenlafaxine than other SSRIs and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (odds ratio, 2.18).
NSAIDs give increase effect in combination therapy with opioids and their efficacy increase and they tend to reduce the pain in majority of patients but still the use of analgesic is not properly monitored as patient take self-medication but the patient should consult the physician and some physicians prescribe opioid analgesic as pain reliever which has many side effects and should not be prescribe alone.
Designated prescribers are able to prescribe from a limited formulary within their area of practice.
However, Hall et al (2006) suggest that only 50% of health visitors with a V100 qualification prescribe for their clients, and further studies cite evidence of a low level of prescribing activity (While and Biggs, 2004; Thurtle, 2007, Young et al, 2009; Brooks, 2013).
The Guidance indicates that a doctor may prescribe medicines for the purpose other than the one they were registered for.
The findings are similar to a 2013 report that concluded that doctors who have access to formulary information when they prescribe electronically tend to prescribe drugs with lower co-pays for patients, Decision Resources, a research and consulting firm in Burlington, Mass., surveyed primary care physicians and endocrinologists who prescribed electronically to at least 25 patients a year, either in their EHR systems or in stand-alone e-prescribing systems.
The submissions showed a high level of support (more than 93 per cent) for specialist nurse prescribing, which would enable nurses who work in collaborative, multi-disciplinary teams in specialty services, or in general practice, to prescribe for common conditions such as diabetes, asthma and hypertension.
The total cost of the two-year course is 6,000 [pounds sterling] and potential students should be 'currently registered and practising as a prescriber or in a position to be eligible to prescribe in their area of practice'.

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