Ejectment Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Ejectment, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Ejectment?

n. a lawsuit brought to remove a party who is occupying real property. This is not the same as an unlawful detainer (eviction) suit against a non-paying or unsatisfactory tenant. It is against someone who has tried to claim title to the property. Example: George Grabby lives on a ranch which he claims he has inherited from his great uncle, but Betty Benefield sues for ejectment on the basis that, in fact, she was entitled to the property through her parents.

History and Meaning of Ejectment

Ejectment is a legal term used to describe a lawsuit where an individual is seeking to remove another person or party who is occupying real property. This law originated in the 14th century in England, where it was used to resolve land disputes between property owners. The legal action was introduced to protect property owners from those who were attempting to lay claim to their land unjustly.

Over time, the law evolved to include problems such as property lines, squatters, and boundary disputes. Unlike eviction, which is typically used to remove tenants who have breached their rental contracts, ejectment is used primarily to remove those who have no legal right to the property.

Examples of Ejectment

  1. Alvin Bayless is suing his neighbor, Jerry Smith, for ejectment from a piece of property that Jerry has been using for years despite being labeled as part of Alvin's land.
  2. The board of directors of a homeowners association is considering filing an action for ejectment against a homeowner who is occupying common property without permission.
  3. A family is suing a business owner who has constructed a fence that extends past the property line and onto their land. The family is seeking an ejectment order to remove the fence entirely.

Legal Terms Similar to Ejectment

  1. Unlawful Detainer - an eviction action used to remove a tenant who is in breach of their rental agreement
  2. Trespass - the act of unlawfully entering or using another person's property
  3. Eminent Domain - the power vested in the government to seize privately owned property for public use.