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A NON HABENTE POTESTATEM

a non habente potestatem (ay non ha-ben-tee  poh-tes-tay-t<<schwa>>m). [Latin] Scots law.

From one not having power. • This phrase appeared most commonly in a conveyance in reference

to a seller who was not the owner.

“If A. disponed ground, which he held on a personal title, to B., he could not grant warrant

for the infeftment of B., himself being uninfeft; but he could assign to B. the unexecuted precept

of sasine in his (A.’s) own favour, and on it B. could complete his feudal title. If, instead of thus

assigning a valid precept, A. himself granted a precept for the infeftment of B., such a precept was

a  non  habente  potestatem,  and  ineffectual.  This was  a  defect,  however,  which  was  remedied  by

prescription.” John Trayner, Trayner’s Latin Maxims 5 (4th ed. 1894). [Blacks Law 8th]