Texas Causes of Action & Affirmative Defenses

Texas Causes of Action & Affirmative Defenses

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Nature of Conversion and Elements of Claim

What is converson and how is a successful conversion claim established in court? Conversion is the unauthorized and wrongful assumption and exercise of dominion and control over another's personal property to the exclusion of, or inconsistent with, the owner's rights. Small v. Small, 216 S.W.3d 872, 877 (Tex. App.-Beaumont 2007, pet. denied)(citing Waisath v. Lack's Stores, Inc., 474 S.W.2d 444, 447 (Tex.1971)). To prove a claim for personal property-conversion, a plaintiff must show that: (1) the plaintiff owned or legally possessed the property or was entitled to its possession; (2) the defendant unlawfully and without authorization assumed and exercised dominion and control over the property to the exclusion of, or inconsistent with, the plaintiff's ownership rights; (3) the plaintiff demanded the property's return; and (4) the defendant refused to return it." Small v. Small, 216 S.W.3d 872, 877 (Tex. App.-Beaumont 2007, pet. denied). The statute of limitations applicable to a conversion claim requires suits to be brought within two years. Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 16.003(a). SOURCE: 09-08-00433-CV (Beaumont Court of Appeals) (8/27/09) SEE ALSO: Texas Theft Liability Act (statutory civil cause of action for theft)

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