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  • Writer's pictureThe Kaplan Team

THOUGHT OF THE WEEK One wrong does not justify another

Updated: Oct 14, 2019

It is a well-established principle of our law that you may not take the law into your own hands. A landlord, for example, may not simply change the locks to premises rented in a dispute with the non-paying tenant; or a landowner change the codes to an electronic gate giving his neighbour access to a servitude road in a disagreement about the terms of use of the road.

In such instances, the mandament van spolie, or spoliation action, affords the person deprived of possession otherwise than through a legal process, the opportunity to apply to Court to have the property returned to him, without the Court looking at the merits of the case at that stage. All the plaintiff needs prove is that it was in peaceful and undisturbed possession of property and was deprived of that possession.

For recent case law where these principles were applied, see here or contact our offices on should you require assistance.

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This article is not intended to constitute legal advice and is produced for information purposes only and to provide a general understanding of the legal position relating to the topic. It is recommended that advice relating to the specific circumstances of your situation be sought from our attorneys before acting upon the content of this article. This article was written at a particular point in time and accordingly may not always reflect the most recent legal developments, if any, applicable to the relevant topic. Kaplan Blumberg and its partners and/or employees, are not responsible for any consequences which may follow upon any decision taken to act upon the information provided in this article.

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