Legal Dictionary


Legal Definition of premises


  1. Foregoing statements or facts previously stated
  2. That part in a deed that set forth the date, names of parties, the land or thing conveyed or granted, the consideration, and all other matters down to the phrase "to have and to hold."

Definition of premises


  • IPA: /ˈpɹɛməsiːz/, IPA: /ˈpɹɛməsɪs/


premises (uncountable)

  1. (plural only; not used in singular form) land, and all the built structures on it, especially when considered as a single place.
  2. (law) (plural only; not used in singular form) The subject of a conveyance or deed


    This usage arose from owners of real property finding the word in their title deeds, where it originally correctly meant "the aforementioned; what this document is about", from Latin prae-missus = "placed before".


premises plural

  1. (logic) Plural form of premise.

Further reading

Premises are land and buildings together considered as a property. This usage arose from property owners finding the word in their title deeds, where it originally correctly meant "the aforementioned; what this document is about", from Latin prae-missus = "placed before".

In this sense, the word is always used in the plural, but singular in construction. Note that a single house or a single other piece of property is "premises", not a "premise", although the word "premises" is plural in form as in "The equipment is located on the customer's premises" and never "The equipment is located on the customer's premise".

Premises liability

Premises liability is the liability for a landowner for certain torts that occur on the real property. This can range from things from injuries caused by "liable for injuries caused by a variety of hazardous conditions, including open excavations, uneven pavement, standing water, crumbling curbs, wet floors, uncleared snow, icy walks, falling objects, inadequate security, insufficient lighting, concealed holes, improperly secured mats, or defects in chairs or benches". In sum:

    Premises liability law is the body of law which makes the person who is in possession of land or premises responsible for certain injuries suffered by persons who are present on the premises.
    - ExpertLaw website

For premises liability to apply:

  1. The defendant must possess the land or "premises".
  2. The plaintiff must be an invitee or, in certain cases, a licensee. Traditionally, trespassers were not protected under premises liability law. However, in 1968, the California Supreme Court issued a vastly influential opinion, entitled Rowland v. Christian (1968) 69 Cal.2d 108, which abolished the significance of legal distinctions such as invitee, licensee, or trespasser in determining whether one could hold the possessor of a premises liable for harm. This opinion led to changes in the law in many other states in the United States, and is viewed as a seminal opinion in the development of the law of premises liability.
  3. There must be negligence or some other wrongful act. In recent years, the law of premises liability has evolved to include cases where a person is injured on the premises of another by a third person's wrongful act, such as an assault. These cases are sometimes referred to as "third party premises liability" cases and they represent a highly complex and dynamic area of tort law. They pose especially complex legal issues of duty and causation because the injured party is seeking to hold a possessor or owner of property directly or vicariously liable when the immediate injury-producing act was, arguably, not caused by the possessor or owner.

Lai Chau v. Southstar Equity Limited Co. and Brookside Properties Inc.

Lai Chau, a former University of South Florida student, survived a violent abduction in her North Tampa apartment complex in 2001. Two men sneaked past the complex's security gate, and shot the 20-year-old student three times in the head. The landmark negligent security case won Chau $15.7 million in damages in 2004.

Fred Zinober, who helped represent Chau, said "it never would have happened to Lai Chau," had the property owners not allowed negligent security at The Remington complex.

"We really believe that people will pay an additional $12 or $13 (per month) to be safe," Zinober remarked of security upgrades during the trial.

Morales v. Lia

Morales v. Lia is the leading modern case in New York law. A pedestrian who was hit by a car in the parking lot of a strip mall was unable to sue the defendant mall owner, because the driver and owner of the vehicle were 100% liable for plaintiff's injuries.

Premises registration

Premises registration is "a way to locate where livestock or dead animals are kept or congregated." In the United States, it is voluntary according to the USDA, but may be mandatory for each state.

As of January 13, 2009 the USDA has entered into the federal register a document which provides for the expansion of implementation of a mandatory national animal identification system to be effective January 2010. Citizens may enter their comments and concerns about the expected effects of such limitations imposed by this action.


  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.


1.     landed property
2.     common stock
3.     lex situs
4.     lex causae
5.     lex fori
6.     status quo
7.     buggery
8.     conclusive presumption
9.     interlocutory
10.     writ of seizure and sale