LEGAL PERSPECTIVE: Assignment of choices in action by Dr AbdelGadir Warsama, Legal Counsel

Dr AbdelGadir Warsama, Legal Counsel

As a rule, choses in action are your rights that you must claim. They are not in your actual possession to benefit from them, rather you may lose. To simplify, your money in your hand is a chose in possession, whereas your money in the bank is a chose in action wherein you need an action to possess.  Based on this, it was claimed that choses in action are not eligible for assignment. This assumption continues for long time; however, the situation has been changed by law and accordingly, choses in action could legally be assigned. To begin this legal process, the power to assign was first handled by Statute giving insurance policy holders the right to assign the policy, which is a chose in action not possession.

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The law provides that, this to happen in instances of, an absolute assignment by writing from the assignor of any debt or other legal thing in action (chose), of which express notice in writing has been given to the debtor, trustee or other person from whom the assignor would have been entitled to claim such debt or thing in action (chose). Moreover, it is effectual in law to pass and transfer from the date of such notice, the legal right to such debt or thing in action, all legal and other remedies from the same and the power to give a good discharge for the same without the concurrence of the assignor.

This is effectual in law provided that, if the debtor, trustee or other person liable in respect of debt or thing in action (chose) has notice, that the assignment is disputed by the assignor or any person or under him or of any other opposing or conflicting claims to such debt or action. He may if he thinks fit, either call upon the persons making claim or interplead concerning the same or pay the debt or thing into Court. However, the assignment must be absolute, must be in writing under the hand of the assignor, consideration is not necessary, express notice in writing must be given to the debtor and the assignment is subject to existing equities.

Based on above legal parameters and requirements, choses in action are eligible for assignment. In other words, you can either claim your chose in action directly or opt for assignment to benefit from.

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