Trespass - Conversion on Personal Property
Trespass on Personal Property
If you are the victim of trespass, you may be entitled to receive compensation to repair or replace your personal property damaged by the trespass. Trespassing on personal property is accomplished when a person or entity intentionally interferes with a property owner's right of possession in their personal property causing damages. This is usually done by either:
• Intermeddling, which means they directly caused damages to the personal property; or by
• Dispossession, which is a total deprivation of a person’s lawful right of possession in property in which they hold title.
Both forms of trespassing result in damages or
some injury to the true owner of the personal property.
The actor need not intend on trespassing, but they must have intentionally performed the act that caused the interference with the owner's right of possession. For example, a person may find a coat that they erroneously thought was abandoned. If this person then took the coat home, they did not intend to interfere with the owner's right of possession because they thought it was abandoned and had no owner. However, they are still liable for trespass if the coat is somehow damaged while in their possession because they intentionally took possession of the coat which interfered with the owner's right of possession causing the damages. The fact that they did not intend to interfere with the true owner's right of possession of the coat is irrelevant concerning trespass.
Conversion of Personal Property
If you are the victim of conversion, you may be entitled to receive compensation to replace your personal property taken by the conversion. Conversion, a form of "super-trespass', is accomplished when a person or entity does one of the following to the property belonging to another person or entity.
1. Wrongfully assumes the right of ownership over goods and personal property belonging to another, (owner) while changing the property's condition or excluding the owner’s rights in the property.
2. Wrongfully acts to deprive an owner of his/her property either permanently or for an indefinite time.
3. Wrongful exercise of dominion and control over another person (owner's) personal property to the exclusion of, or inconsistent with the owner’s rights.
Conversion can be either, direct or constructive. Direct conversion is the act of actually appropriating the personal property of another to his own beneficial use and enjoyment, or to that of a third person, or destroying it, altering its nature, or wrongfully assuming its title. Constructive conversion is an implied or virtual conversion, which takes place when a person or entity does such acts which amounts to the appropriation of the personal property.
You May Be Eligible to Receive Damages
You may be able to recover economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include the cost of the damages to the personal property that was trespassed upon or the actual replacement costs of the property that was converted. Non-economic damages are serious losses that are more difficult to assign a dollar value, including those for pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, and loss of quality of life.
If I Am the Victim Of Trespass or Conversion On My Personal Property, What Do I Do Next?
Contact the Lee Law Group if your personal property was trespassed upon or converted by another and we will assist you throughout your entire ordeal. It is important to contact us, or some other attorney, as soon as possible because if you eventually have to file a lawsuit you must file it within a specified period of time by law. This period of time, known as the ‘statute of limitations’, could bar your case if you do not act in time.
Once you contact the Lee Law Group, first, once we decide to take the case often at no upfront cost to you, we will investigate the incident to determine how your property was trespassed upon or converted to the use of another, what damages were caused and the monetary value of these damages.
Once we have a firm idea of the costs of your damages we will write a settlement demand letter to the person or company that interfered with or converted your personal property. Negotiations with the other side are required at this point. The Lee Law Group will conduct these negotiations until we have a settlement agreement that you can accept because final approval of any potential settlement rests with you, not the attorneys. Many cases are settled in this way. However, if the defendant refuses to offer a settlement that you can accept, we will file a lawsuit on your behalf to obtain your compensation.
What Happens if I File a Lawsuit for Trespass or Conversion?
If the Lee Law Group is forced to file a lawsuit on your behalf to obtain your just compensation we will litigate your case from start to finish, explaining the process to you every step of the way. We will instruct you on what to do and when to do it thereby making the process as simple as possible. A great majority of cases are settled after filing a lawsuit without having to actually conduct a trial. However, if a trial is necessary we at the Lee Law Group are experienced in trial work and will energetically try your case to win, diligently fighting for you.
If your personal property is trespassed upon or converted contact the Lee Law Group so we can fight for you.