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What are the elements of trespass against chattels?
- The defendant:
- 1) intentionally committed an act
- 2) that interferes wih the plaintiff's right of possession
- 3) over a chattel (i.e., personal property)
Must the defendant intend to interfere with plaintiff's right to possession of a chattel for there to be a claim of trespass against chattels?
No. The defendant need only intend to engage in the act that leads to the interference with possession.
- In a hurry, H grabs her bag from a baggage claim carousel at takes it to her hotel, only to find that it is not hers. She has committed a trespass against the chattel - she may not have intended to take someone else's bag, but she did intend to take the bag, which is what led to the interference with possession
- MISTAKE OF FACT IS NO DEFENSE
Does transferred intent apply to trespasses against chattels?
What counts as "interfering" with plaintiff's right of possession for proving a trespass against chattels?
- 1) Diposessing the plaintiff of the chattel buy putting his use above the plaintiff's use.
- S steals Q's car
- 2) Intermeddling with the plaintiff's use by making it more difficult for the plaintiff to use it.
- P throws gravel at Q's car.
Who has standing to sue for a trespass against chattels?
Anyone who has an immediate right possession of the chattel.
What damages may plaintiff receive when he succeeds in a trespass against chattels action? (different answer depending on whether defendant dispossessed or intermeddled)
1) For dispossession: actual damages (value of chattel, repair costs, dimunition in value) and incidental damages (rental costs)
2) For intermeddling, must show actual damages