Trover - Encyclopedia

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TROVER (0. Fr. trover, to find, mod. trouver), or "trover and conversion," the name of a form of action in English law no longer in use, corresponding to the modern action of conversion. It was brought for damages for the detention of a chattel, and differed from detinue in that the latter was brought for the return of the chattel itself. The name trover is due to the action having been based on the fictitious averment in the plaintiff's declaration that he had lost the goods and that the defendant had found them. The necessity for this fictitious averment was taken away by the Common Law Procedure Act 1852. An action of trover lay (as an action of conversion still lies) in every case where the defendant was in possession of a chattel of the plaintiff and refused to deliver it up on request, such refusal being prima facie evidence of conversion. The damages recoverable are usually the value of the chattel converted. In an action for detention of a chattel (the representative cf the old action of detinue), the plaintiff may have judgment and execution by writ of delivery for the chattel itself or for its value at his option. An action for conversion or detention must be brought within six years. The corresponding action in Scots law is the action of spuilzie. It must be brought within three years in order to entitle the pursuer to violent profits, otherwise it prescribes in forty years.

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