Trover signifies finding. The remedy is called an action of trover; it is brought to recover the value of personal chattels, wrongfully converted by another to his own use; the form supposed that the defendant might have acquired the possession of the property lawfully, namely, by finding, but if he did not, by bringing the action the plaintiff waives the trespass; no damages can therefore be recovered for the taking, all must be for the conversion.
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).
Trover damages are measured by the market value of the object (not its replacement cost) plus compensation for deprivation of use and compensation for other losses naturally and proximately caused by the wrongful taking.
The property affected must be some personal chattel and it has been decided that trover lies for title deeds and for a copy of a record.
But trover will not lie for personal property in the custody of the law, nor when the title to the property can be settled only by a peculiar jurisdiction; as, for example, property taken on the high seas, and claimed as lawful prize, because in such case, the courts of admiralty have exclusive jurisdiction.
The person who has the absolute or general property in a personal chattel may support this action, although he has never had possession, for it is a rule that the general property of personal chattels creates a constructive possession.
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