bq. Mr. Cooney: There is no definition in the Statute or in the parent Act of personal chattels. But personal chattels has been for so long a legal term that it now has a certain legal standing. If the Senator wishes I can quote for him a definition from Wharton’s Law Lexicon where personal chattels is defined. When the Senator hears the definition he will be quite satisfied that no difficulty will arise in interpreting the Act and deciding what it applies to.
bq. Chattels personal or in a more narrow and more modern sense, chattels means movable property or effects which belong personally to the owner and for which if they are injuriously withheld from him he has, in general, no other remedy than by personal action … while a mixed action of ejectment in which the plaintiff could recover the specific property was available in the case of chattels real.
I find this discussion a bit confusing. To my mind there is a difference between chattels personal and personal chattels. The Oxford Dictionary of Law confirms this: personal chattels are defined in the Administration of Estates Act 1925 and do not include chattels used for business purposes at the intestate’s death. So chattels personal is a broad property term more or less corresponding to moveable property, part of a system more complex than the division between real and personal property, whereas personal chattels are the chattels personal a person owns, things like toilet articles, bags, umbrella. The Irish Senate appear to be discussing when a fish becomes a personal chattel. Or when it becomes a chattel personal? But they do quote the Administration of Estates Act 1925. If any Irish lawyers are reading this blog, they are offline for a couple of weeks, so I will have to leave it there.