Legal Dictionary

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Bailment

Bailment is an arrangement in which the bailor transfers possession (but not ownership) of his or her personal property to another (the bailee). Dropping off one's dry cleaning is a common bailment agreement. The bailee (the dry cleaner) cannot use the property and the bailor (the person who owns the clothes) can demand the return of the clothes at any time. If the bailee misuses the property, uses it in a manner that was not contemplated by the bailor or fails to return it (e.g., wearing a customer's gown to an event, or stealing it), the bailee can be charged with larceny or some other theft crime.