Distinction between Trespass and Conversion
Though conversion is trespass (in that the action is based on the right of immediate possession and not on the right of ownership, and that a mere possessor can sue the wrongdoer, unless the latter has a better title or right to be in possession).
Yet there are the following points of distinction between the two: (1) As to right to possession:-- In trespass, it is a wrong to the actual possessor hence cannot be committed by a person in possession while it is a wrong to the person entitled to immediate possession in conversion.
(2) As to intention to possess:-- Trespass is to damage the other's chattel or goods but without intending to exercise an adverse possession over it, whereas it is a breach made adversely in the continuity of the owner's dominion over his goods though the goods may not be damaged in conversion.
(3) As to gist of action:-- The gist of the action in trespass is the force and direct injury inflicted; in conversion, it is the deprivation of the goods or their use.
Conversion may be distinguished from detenue in following respects. (1) Conversion is an interference with the plaintiff's possession or right to possess with an intentiän to exercise dominion over the chattel, on the other hand detenue consists in wrongful withholding of them.
(2) In Conversion the gist of the action is wrongful deprivation of use in any manner, whereasthe gist of the action in detenue is detention of goods by the defendant.
(3) In conversion remedy is damages but in detenue the remedy claimed by the plaintiff is return of specific property.
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