traditio brevi manu (tr[schwa]-dish-ee-oh bree-vIman-yoo). [Latin] Roman law. The surrender of the mediate possession of a thing to the person who is already in immediate possession of it. • This is a type of constructive delivery in which a delivery to the mediate possessor and redelivery to the immediate possessor are unnecessary. See BREVI MANU. For the other two types of constructive delivery, see ATTORNMENT; CONSTITUTUM POSSESSORIUM.
“The first [type of constructive delivery] is that which the Roman lawyers termed traditio brevi manu, but which has no recognised name in the language of English law…. If, for example, I lend a book to someone, and afterwards, while he still retains it, I agree with him to sell it to him, or to make him a present of it, I can effectually deliver it to him in fulfilment of this sale or gift, by telling him that he may keep it. It is not necessary for him to go through the form of handing it back to me and receiving it a second time from my hands.” John Salmond, Jurisprudence 306 (Glanville L. Williams ed., 10th ed. 1947).