Legal Definition of trover
- An old English and common law legal proceeding against a person who had found someone else's property and has converted that property to their own purposes. The action of trover did not ask for the return of the property but for damages in an amount equal to the replacement value of the property. English law replaced the action of trover with that of conversion in 1852.
Definition of trover
Noun use of Old French trover (“to find”).
- (law) Taking possession of personal property which has been found; also a legal action brought to recover such property by their original owner.
* 1749, Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, Folio Society 1973, p. 431:
The pocket-book was a late present from Mrs Western [...]. A prudent person [...] would not have offered more than a shilling, or perhaps sixpence, for it; nay, some perhaps would have given nothing, and left the fellow to his action of trover, which some learned serjeants may doubt whether he could, under these circumstances, have maintained.
Trover is a form of lawsuit in common-law countries for recovery of damages for wrongful taking of personal property. Trover belongs to a series of remedies for such wrongful taking, its distinctive feature being recovery only for the value of whatever was taken, not for the recovery of the property itself (see replevin).
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