Primary tabs

Take means to gain or obtain possession. Some common uses of the term “take” in a legal sense include: 

  • In the context of property, it means getting the title to real property. 
  • In the context of criminal law, stealing is an unlawful taking. 
  • In the context of Eminent Domain, cases such as this one from New Mexico, explain that the government can ‘take’ property for Fifth Amendment purposes “either by physically depriving the owner of the property, or by placing upon the property such restrictive regulations that the owner is effectively deprived of the ability to use the property.”
  • In the context of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), cases such as this one from the Ninth Circuit, explain that “to ‘take,’ when applied to wild animals in context of ESA, means to reduce those animals, by killing or capturing, to human control.”

[Last updated in September of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]