Tort Law - Trespass

Trespass to Goods

Conversion

Conversion occurs when one party deals with another persons goods in a manner inconsistent with the true owner’s immediate right of possession. So, if you come into possession of someone else's property by any means and do something they would not want done with it, conversion is likely to have occurred. That includes any alteration or damage to the goods or unauthorised usage of them.

 

A recent case exemplifying this is Chep v Bunnings,[1] where the hardware chain, Bunnings, had large numbers of shipping pallets from pallet provider, Chep, some of which were held under a hire agreement, and some of which were not...

 

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Detinue

The difference between detinue and conversion is that detinue focuses on a person’s refusal to return goods to the rightful owner on demand. Thus an item lent or left accidentally, or an item hired out can become the subject of detinue when the person in physical possession fails to comply with a demand for return.

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[1] Chep v Bunnings [2010] NSWSC 301.

Written by Andrew Pingree. All copyright, 2014-2016 vests in Civilaco Pty Ltd.

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