What Is Replevin In Personal Injury Suits?

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Have you ever broken up with someone and you want nothing from them but the things you left at their place? Some things can have low monetary value but have a higher sentimental value; what they mean to an individual is so much more than you can ascribe an amount to. Replevin is a personal injury term that is used to describe a situation of “claim and delivery.” In essence, it means that the person is seeking to recover damages — not in financial terms, but in the actual recovery of something itself.



It isn’t just an ex-lover that would want their items returned. Replevin also applies to numerous other situations, like when someone takes ownership of another’s property or an individual otherwise claims rights to something that isn’t theirs. It also applies to companies who have either loaned money to a creditor who refuses to repay or has been given a loan for a possession (such as a car) and hasn’t made payments.


There are many examples of Replevin


When a creditor lends money to buy something tangible, they might impose a levy on the object. If they try to collect on the loan, they are probably going to be left with no recourse. In situations where a car is not paid for, repossession is the best way for a creditor to collect.

Other examples of when someone would want replevin are:


  • If a landlord holds onto a renter’s belongings. Instead of wanting payment for their items, the renter would probably rather have their personal items returned.
  • If an administrator is in possession of a person’s estate items.
  • A private citizen is seeking to have their public record returned by a governmental agency.
  • If a business has something stolen from them, like a database or client list, that is more valuable than any monetary compensation to the company


What are the laws regarding replevin?


According to a personal injury attorney Queens, historically, replevin laws are made at the state level and are part of a state’s common law clause, but recently replevin laws have been turned over to the state’s civil procedure statutes. When someone takes replevin actions, they have to start by filling out the paperwork stating why they wish to reclaim their possessions and under what circumstances they believe they are entitled to recover them.


Once the paperwork is complete, it then becomes a sheriff’s job to seize said property and deliver it to the person making the claim until there can be a hearing. Many states give a person making a replevin plea the right to recover their items before an official judgment is made. In such cases, the person who is making a claim typically has to post a cash bond, so that if they don’t win the case, any losses can be covered.


Some states operate differently, but generally if someone who has a claim of replevin issued against them either disposes of or destroys the items, they may be held in contempt of court and have to pay monetary damages for the lost property.


Replevin claims can be made in:


  • The county in which the property is being sought after
  • The area where the parties signed a contract
  • The place where the defendant of the replevin claim resides
  • The area where the property or action that is the source of the dispute, occurred


For a replevin claim to be proven and won the claimant must:


  • Give a detailed description of the property so that once it is recovered, proper identification can be made
  • A reasonable estimate of the value of the property
  • An estimate or belief of where the property currently resides
  • A proof statement that the property in question is actually theirs and that they have rights to it
  • A statement that the property was taken wrongfully or illegally obtained or detained
  • A statement that the property was not seized in place of debt such as a fine, tax or assessment under the law


There are times when your belongings are much more valuable to you than any financial recovery. Some things are just priceless. If you are the victim of someone who has taken your property, then a replevin personal injury claim is a way to recover what is rightfully yours.

Hugh Howerton