OWNER, property. The owner is he who has dominion of a thing real or person-al, corporeal or incorporeal, which he has a right to enjoy and to do with as he pleases, even to spoil or destroy it, as far as the law permits, unless he be prevented by some agreement or covenant which restrains his right.
2. The right of the owner is more extended than that of him who has only the use of the thing. The owner of an estate may, therefore change the face of it; he may cut the wood, demolish the buildings, build new ones, and dig wherever he may deem proper, for minerals, stone, plaster, and similar things. He may committ what would be considered waste if done by another.
3. The owner continues to have the same right although he perform no acts of ownership, or be disabled from performing them, and although another perform such acts, without the knowledge or against the will of the owner. But the owner may lose his right in a thing, if he permit it to remain in the possession of a third person, for sufficient time to enable the latter to acquire a title to it by prescription, or lapse of time. See Civil Code of Louis. B. 2, t. 2, c. 1; Encyclopedie de M. D'Alembert, Proprietaire.
4. When there are several joint owners of a thing, as for example, of a ship, the majority of them have the right to make contracts in respect of such thing, in the usual course of business or repair, and the like, and the minority will be bound by such contracts. Holt, 586; 1 Bell's Com. 519, 5th ed. See 5 Whart. R. 366.