02/05/16 “Actual & Constructive”

e-legal lesson

These words are opposed in a variety of legal phrases, e.g., constructive as against actual fraud, constructive as against actual possession, constructive as against actual notice.
When actual is used in such a phrase, the extrinsic facts merit the legal conclusion that, e.g., fraud, possession or notice exists.
When constructive is used, the extrinsic facts do not fall within the strict definition of, e.g., fraud, possession or notice, but the court finds (or is requested to find), usually on equitable grounds, that the legal conclusion of fraud, possession or notice should apply.