Derelict Law and Legal Definition

Derelict is a personal property abandoned or thrown away by the owner with an intent to no longer claim it. The term is most frequently used in Maritime law in relation to a ship abandoned on the high seas or on the coast. An example for a derelict is a boat or ship deserted by a master or crew. A derelict ship should have been abandoned without hope for recovery or with no intention of saving the ship or of returning thereto. The intention and expectation of the master and crew is an important factor in deciding whether a vessel is derelict or not.