Duo non possunt in solido unam rem possidere

Duo non possunt in solido unam rem possidere

Literal Meaning

Two cannot possess one thing each in entirety.

Explanation & Origin

Duo non possunt in solido unam rem possidere is a legal maxim in Latin.

It means two cannot possess one thing each in entirety.

It is a variation of a more popular Latin legal phrase, which is attested to in Coke’s Institutes: Duo non possunt in solido unam rem possidere: “Ownership of a whole cannot be shared; right of ownership must be divided into portions.”

Possession is essentially indivisible.

Two persons cannot at the same time have the possession of a thing expect jointly or in common.

No phrase is more usual for describing the ordinary test of possession then the question – had he the separate undivided and exclusive control of the thing.

When a person who has the possession of a thing delivers it to or permits it to be taken away by a second person , and the question whether the second person has thereby acquired the possession , the answer will depend principally on whether the first person intended to part with to part with the possession and to transfer a seperate and undivided and exclusive control for the time being to the second person.


A subpoena is typically requested by an attorney and issued by a court clerk , a notary public or a justice of the peace. Once subpoena is issued it can be served on an individual. Same subpoena cannot be served on two person.  

Case Reference

Taparia Overseas (P) Ltd. And Anr. vs Union Of India (Uoi) And Others

In this case it was held that this maxim applies generally to all property, real and personal, and refers to assigns by act of parties, as the assignment is by deed; and to assign by operation of law, as in the case of an executor. All rights of the assignor in the thing assigned must pass from him to the assignee by virtue of the assignment, for duo non possunt in solido unam rem possidere. It should be observed, also that the thing assigned takes with it all the liabilities attached to it in the hands of the assignor at the time of the assignment, except in cases for the encouragement of commerce, such as sales in market overt, negotiation of promissory notes, bills of exchange, etc., and, in the case of enquiries, where the assignee is a bona fide purchaser for value without notice.

Edited by Vigneshwar Ramasubramania

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje