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What Is the Legal Definition of Conversion

Generally, you can generally obtain and keep copies of documents belonging to another person, but you cannot receive and keep the originals of those documents. The reason for this is that «possession of copies of documents – unlike the documents themselves – does not constitute an interference with the property of the owner sufficient to justify conversion». FMC Corp. v. Capital Cities/ABC, Inc., 915 F.2d 300, 303 (7th Cir. 1990). However, they may be held responsible for conversion for receipt and preservation of copies if the rightful holder has neither originals nor copies of the documents in question. Even if you are held responsible for the conversion and must return the documents in question, the First Amendment generally gives you the right to keep copies of the documents for yourself and to disseminate the information they contain. See id., pp. 304-05.

A thief, trespasser or bailiff may be guilty of conversion because the claim can be upheld regardless of whether the property was legally acquired in the first place or not. For example, a cleaner who accidentally delivers a suit to the wrong customer has remodeled it. Moving a person`s property without their permission can constitute a transformation if the inconvenience is significant: for example, having a person`s car towed to take up the parking space. Unauthorized use is conversion – for example, a mechanic who borrows a sports car without a repair permit. Misuse of property can also be transformational. When a neighbor lends his hedge trimmer to a friend, it is a conversion for the friend to cut down a tree with the hedge trimmer. This article deals with the Basic Law of Conversion. The general rule is that an action for conversion applies only to movable property and cannot apply to immovable property. [69][70] The exercise of ownership can take various forms. All that is required is for the defendant to exercise control over the movable property in a manner inconsistent with the plaintiff`s right of possession. [102] The essence of a conversion is not the acquisition of property by the aggressor, but the unlawful deprivation of the property of others, which the owner is entitled to possess.

[103] The Applicant is entitled to compensation equal to the full value of the personal property at the time and place of conversion. The measure of conversion damages is the market value of the property at the time and place of conversion. Vaughn v. Vaughn, 146 B. App. 264 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2002).

Since the act must be committed knowingly, neither negligence, active or passive, nor a breach of contract, even if it results in the injury or loss of certain property, constitutes conversion. It follows that error, good faith and due diligence are normally irrelevant and cannot be a defence in an action for conversion. Taylor v. Forte Hotels Int`l, 235 Cal. App.3d 1119 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. 1991). It is important for the accused to understand that. Knowingly taking possession is a crime, even if you were wrong.

It doesn`t matter if you acted negligently or if you thought you had a valid right to the property. There is no need to prove that you wanted to do something wrong. Only that you deliberately took possession and in fact had no right to do so. The use of conversion generally consists of damages equal to the market value of the movable object at the time of conversion. [173][174] The processor may offer to return the personal property to the complainant, but the complainant is not obliged to accept it. If the plaintiff wishes to return the movable property without additional financial loss, he or she may invoke a related tort. Violence can only be used to recover movable property if the offender is seizing the movable property or if the owner of the movable property «pursues» the movable property. This is because a victim of conversion should use available remedies as opposed to «self-help» or violence. Lethal force must never be used to recover movable property. In order to maintain an action for conversion, the plaintiff must have an interest in the reconstructed thing. He must recover on the strength of his own title, regardless of the weakness of his opponent.

It is necessary that the applicant be the owner of the land to be converted or be in possession or possession at the time of the alleged conversion. An absolute and unqualified title is sufficient, but not necessary. A mere right of possession is generally considered to be sufficient interest to maintain a receivable. [143][144] A normal conversion is a refusal to transfer possession of the personal property to the person entitled to do so. As a general rule, this is considered to be a sufficiently qualified interference with the applicant`s right of control. [110] If the incarceration is minor or not considered serious, it is not considered a conversion. A shop that delays the delivery of an automobile by 30 minutes does not initiate a conversion. [110][111][112] The same applies to a share certificate. [113] Storing furniture or other property to prevent damage or theft is also not a transformation in itself if the owner is properly informed of his location. [110][114][115][116] If the delay is long or intentional, it is a conversion.

Keeping a car for a month is a conversion. [117][118][119][120] Goods that have been stored or destroyed by fire are considered to have been processed. [121] In 1704, it was stated in Baldwin v. Cole: The defendant may prove the existence of facts that would make it unfair to allow the plaintiff to recover the full value. As a general rule, the defendant is not entitled to deduct the maintenance and maintenance costs that would normally be incurred for the maintenance of the converted property. The return of the goods after acceptance by the owner may reject the claim or be used as a mitigating fact. However, the mere offering of the converted property does not necessarily exclude all damages that may have occurred as a result of the original tort. Actions in legal proceedings may constitute a full defense and mitigate damages. [177] If an offer of a debt owed to the defendant is necessary to give the plaintiff the right to take immediate possession of the land, that offer is necessary to enable the plaintiff to maintain the action for conversion. An action for conversion may be maintained only if, at the time of the alleged conversion, the applicant was entitled to immediate possession of the specific land which is the subject of the conversion.

[151][152] An offer is not required if the defendant no longer has the power to perform his or her share of the contract giving rise to the debt. [153][154] In some cases, the exercise of sovereignty may constitute an intrusion or a crime, e.g. if the movement amounts to theft or fraudulent appropriation by a guarantor or agent in charge of the property of others (Larceny Acts of 1861 and 1901). The fraudulent conversion of property entrusted to him by a person for his own use (or that of persons other than the owner) is a crime in the case of custodians of property, postmen, trustees under express written trusts (Larceny Act 1861, pp. 77-85; Larceny Act of 1901). The very denial of goods to those who have the right to demand them is a real conversion and not just a proof of it. [122][123][124][125] The view that an action in exchange is merely a real object that can be identified and actually taken possession is based on a fiction on which Trover`s act is based, namely that the defendant found someone else`s property that was lost. This view has become irrelevant in the course of the law, which has been rejected by most courts. [49][50] It is therefore generally accepted that an action for conversion applies to any type of movable property that is the subject of private property, whether living or inanimate. [51][52][53][54][55] Intangible property can be converted in the United States. [50][56] There can be no action to convert the elected official into shares or simple debts. [57][58][59] Software can be converted.

[56] The request for conversion was standardized in 1554 in Lord Mounteagle v Countess of Worcester (1554) 2 Dyer 121a, 73 ER 265. The plaintiff was in possession of certain goods, he accidentally lost them, the defendant found the goods and did not return them, but «for his own use». [26] For the purposes of conversion, the term «intent» refers only to the purpose of owning or exercising ownership rights in the conversion. As a result, a party is responsible for the conversion regardless of its knowledge of the property`s ownership status. For example, a person who picks up a necklace from the floor with the intention of reselling it because he mistakenly believed it had been abandoned nevertheless rebuilt that necklace. A right of ownership in personal property is sufficient to maintain an action for conversion against the person who sells the property without notifying the rightful owner. Even if the rightful owner has no legal rights, his or her rights in the movable property may be sufficient if he exercises control over it by taking possession of it and retaining it for a period of time. Conversion has been described as a fascinating illicit injustice,[8] although it has largely escaped the attention of legal authors. Literature often passes into that of the trover.

[9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16] Other sources define conversion as a clear act of unlawful domination over the personal property of others, in denial or incompatibility with one`s title or rights, or in deviation, exclusion or disregard of that title or rights, without the consent of the owner and without lawful justification. [17][18][19][20] WHEN does the conversion apply? Here are some examples that explain the conversion.