Conversion Skip over navigation
LexisNexis® Browse Law Reviews and Treatises
Skip over navigation
Sign in with your® ID to access the full text of this chapter.
Order from the LexisNexis Store. Formats may include:
  • eBook for Mobipocket readers, including Amazon® Kindle

  • eBook for eReader, including Adobe® Digital Edition, Apple® iPad®, Sony® Reader

  • Print (Hardcover)


Alabama Tort Law
Copyright 2016, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group.

1-29 Alabama Tort Law 29.syn




Gregory S. Cusimano;; Michael L. Roberts

Chapter Summary


This chapter from Alabama Tort Law covers the tort of conversion, which is also known as trover. It describes the tort as the wrongful taking or wrongful detention or interference, illegal assumption of ownership, or illegal use or misuse of another's personal property. The chapter distinguishes conversion, which applies only to personal property, from trespass, which applies to both real and personal property. It further discusses the similarities between conversion and trespass to chattels.

Next, the chapter describes the types of property that may be the subject of a conversion action, including tangible and intangible personal property, money or funds, and things associated with realty. The chapter also examines the necessary amount of a plaintiff's interest or rights in the converted property in order to bring an action for conversion. In addition, the chapter covers particular actions by the defendant that may give rise to conversion liability, including (1) the appropriation of personal property to the defendant's own use or benefit; (2) the destruction of the property; (3) the exercise of dominion over the property to the exclusion or defiance of the plaintiff's rights; or (4) withholding possession of property from the owner under a claim inconsistent with the owner's title.

The chapter further reviews the circumstances under which a plaintiff must make a formal demand, which is refused by the defendant, in order for the defendant to be liable for conversion. The chapter next discusses the intent of the defendant, which does not affect liability but may affect damages. With regard to damages, the chapter explains the general rule that they are measured by the value of the property as of the date of conversion, plus interest, although exceptions may apply for property with fluctuations in value. Finally, the chapter considers the statute of limitations for conversion actions.

Alabama Tort Law (Matthew Bender) is the only truly comprehensive resource on tort law in Alabama. With expert discussion of proof requisites and defenses, it covers all the elements of each tort actionable under Alabama law. It provides the information necessary to determine if there is a case and what is needed to prove or defend it. Alabama Tort Law not only provides up-to-date coverage of relevant case law and analysis, it also includes comprehensive appendices with practical material, including checklists and sample complaints for frequently encountered topics.


Alabama,conversion,convert,wrongful taking,wrongful detention,personal property,trover,trespass to chattels,chattel,tangible property,tangible personal property,intangible property,intangible personal property,demand,refusal of demand,appropriation of personal property,destruction of property,intent,converted property


For more information on the state of mind of willfulness, see Chapter 3, Wantonness and Willfulness.

For a discussion of trespass to real property, see Chapter 30, Trespass.

For more information on damages, see Chapter 40, Compensatory Damages; Chapter 41, Compensatory Damages for Injured Property Interests; and Chapter 42, Punitive Damages.

For information on the sufficiency of evidence and burdens of proof, see Chapter 44, Evidentiary Issues in Torts.


See Personal Injury: Actions, Defenses, Damages (Matthew Bender) for the largest and most comprehensive case law compendium in legal literature, with encyclopedic treatment of the personal injury law of every American jurisdiction and coverage of theories of recovery, elements of causes of action, necessary allegations, defenses, and damages.

See Personal Injury Defense Techniques (Matthew Bender) for a discussion of a wide range of the substantive and practical legal problems faced by defense counsel, along with suggestions for the best ways to remedy them, with coverage of such topics as insurance defense, liquor liability, medical malpractice, premises liability, products liability, toxic torts, and damages.

See Damages in Tort Actions (Matthew Bender) for in-depth legal and policy analyses of compensatory and punitive damages in personal injury, wrongful death, and property damage cases, plus case annotations to all jurisdictions and examples of illustrative awards and settlements.

See Punitive Damages (Matthew Bender) for coverage of the latest developments in punitive damages law, along with state-by-state analysis of tort reform and a wide range of pretrial, trial, and post-trial strategies.

See Jury Instructions on Damages in Tort Actions (Matthew Bender) for a valuable resource to help lawyers write jury instructions relating to such topics as punitive damages, causation, comparative negligence, personal injuries, wrongs involving intangible property, and misrepresentations.
If you are interested in obtaining a® ID and Password, please contact us at 1-(800)-227-4908 or visit us at
Search Documents
eg., Environmental Insurance Coverage Under the Comprehensive General Liability Policy

Lexis® Web - The only search engine that delivers free web content specifically from legal sites validated by LexisNexis® attorney editors and includes tools for faster research and more relevant results.

LexisNexis Store
Research Now - Go to
Connect the Dots - Free 1 hour webcast
Share. Network. Discover. - Go to LexisNexis Communities