Intentional tort cases fall under civil law rather than criminal law. They’re meant to hold a liable party accountable for their purposefully harmful actions. This harm can come in the form of physical or emotional injury or intentional damage to a person’s property.
The law protects people, but the law also protects a person’s rightful belongings. Trespass to chattels is one form of intentional tort litigation involving the wrongful use of someone else’s property. If someone is intentionally interfering with your lawful possession of your property, you may be able to seek compensation in court.
At Wallace Miller, our experienced Chicago intentional tort attorneys can review your unique situation and help you decide whether pursuing a trespass to chattels case is in your best interest. Set up a free consultation today by calling our office at (312) 261-6193.
What Is Trespass to Chattels?
A chattel is an item of personal property that is anything other than real estate. “Trespass” can mean to make an unwanted incursion or an unlawful act committed on a person or property. Trespass to chattels is a phrase that refers to intentional interference with another person’s personal property or possessions. Trespass to chattels falls under the umbrella of intentional tort, and the remedy is to take the party who committed the trespass to civil court.
To build an intentional tort case for trespass to chattel, you must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that it is more likely than not that:
- Another individual intentionally damaged your personal property or temporarily seized control of it
- The purposeful interference with the property was unauthorized or unwanted
- The accused individual damaged the chattel while in possession of it, or they dispossessed another individual of the chattel
Sometimes, trespass to chattels and conversion are used as interchangeable terms. While trespass to chattels is a minor interference with another person’s property, conversion is a more significant interference and is a separate legal distinction.
Compensation for a Trespass to Chattels Case
Unlike a criminal case for trespass, an Intentional tort case of trespass to chattels is a form of civil litigation. It is a legal remedy you may be able to use to recover compensation from a liable party. If another person intentionally and wrongfully interferes with your property, causing damage, you may be able to seek compensation. In trespass to chattels cases, you can only recover actual damages. Calculating actual damages means measuring the diminished value of the damaged property that resulted from the intentional and direct actions of the other person.
Contact an Experienced Intentional Tort Attorney for More Information
You have the right to utilize and enjoy your personal property. When someone else intentionally interferes with your property, they may be held accountable for their actions. If you are interested in learning more about trespass to chattels and whether you have a viable intentional tort case, contact the skilled attorneys with Wallace Miller.
At Wallace Miller, we can review your situation and help you pursue compensation for your financial losses. Contact our office at (312) 261-6193 to set up a free case evaluation. Our results speak for themselves.