Assign, Assigns, Assignee, Assignation

 
 
 

19 March 2014

We see these terms in all kind of past court documents (and one of them in Victorian romance novels). What exactly do they mean?

Assign (v.): To sign over to another. For example: veterans who received bounty land warrants, frequently would ASSIGN them to someone else in exchange for money

Assigns (n.): Those to whom something is or has been assigned. This spelling is frequently seen in old deeds, wherein the seller conveys title to the buyer and "his executors, heirs, ASSIGNS," etc.

Assignee (n.): One to whom something is or has been assigned. This version of the word is frequently seen with bounty land warrants, promissory notes, court cases for debts, etc., in which a previously uninvolved party is said to be the ASSIGNEE of someone who has been a principal party.

Assignation (n.) Under Scottish law, the term meant an ASSIGNMENT of one thing to another. Under French civil law, the term means a writ of summons. (We'll ignore here the other, now-quaint usage we may have seen in those vintage bodice-rippers.)