Replevin, also known as "claim and delivery," is an action to recover personal property that was wrongfully taken or detained. Unlike other forms of legal recovery, replevin seeks the return of the actual thing itself, as opposed to money damages (the more commonly-sought after remedy).
Replevin can apply in a variety of situations, including situations where two parties have rights to possession of property, but one party may have greater rights to the property. It may also apply in situations where property that was lawfully withheld but should have been later released to a person, was not.
Specific examples may include:
Replevin actions were historically part of a states common laws, but now generally fall under a states civil procedure statutes.
Replevin actions are typically initiated when a person serves papers showing why he or she has a claim in the property -- in which case a sheriff seizes the property and delivers it to the person claiming rights to it until a hearing is held.
Most states allow a person to recover the personal property before a judgment is rendered by the court by first filing a cash deposit or bond with the court to ensure the return of the property to the party in the event he loses.
In some states, a defendant who destroys or disposes of the property may be charged with contempt of court and otherwise ordered to pay money damages and associated costs to the other party.
State laws generally outline the rules, requirements and procedures to recover property that has been wrongfully withheld. For example, replevin actions must be brought in a court that has the legal authority to hear the case based on the value of the property sought to be recovered.
In addition, generally, a person may bring a replevin action in any one of the following locations:
Moreover, before recovering under a replevin action, a person must show the following to a court clerk:
Quetions About Replevin? Talk to a Lawyer
Replevin probably sounds like an archaic and confusing kind of lawsuit. But if after reading this article, you believe you might have a valid claim, you should speak with a local litigation attorney right away to preserve your rights.