Replevin: Use This Proven Legal Strategy to Get Personal Property Back

ReplevinYou’ve heard the expression about possession being 9/10 of the law – but is it really? If a person has physical possession of something that rightfully belongs to someone else, and they intend to keep it, they may throw this saying around as a way of validating their actions.  There is a law that addresses this that is known as Replevin.  Here are some examples of how this law can help an affected party retrieve their belongings.

Replevin Laws

Replevin, also known as claim and delivery, is the legal action of recovering personal property which was wrongfully taken.   When a person claims that they are entitled to keep an item because they are in physical possession of it, it is actually up to the person who is NOT in possession to prove that they are the rightful owner and that they are entitled to posses it.  This burden of proof can often put them at a legal disadvantage.

The specifics of the law can be complex, but our experienced attorneys can help you attain success in court.  We know which steps need to be taken to best support a claim and will help you work within the law to get back what is rightfully yours.

Common Examples 

Broken Engagements

When an engaged couple breaks up, the biggest question is usually who is legally entitled to the ring.  In this situation, both people may feel that they have the legal right to keep it.  Unfortunately, the answer can be determined by several factors, including the circumstances in which the ring was given (for example, if it was given on Christmas, it could be considered a gift) as well as in which state it was given, as laws vary by state.

In Illinois, engagement rings are generally considered a gift with the condition of the promise to get married.  Therefore, if the engagement is called off the ring should go back to the purchaser.  Of course, this is not the ruling in every single case, and laws are continually changing, which is why you should always consult an attorney for valuable items like a ring.

Landlord Disputes

Landlord-tenant disputes can get ugly, and at times can escalate to eviction.  If a landlord believes that a tenant owes money, they may feel justified in keeping some or all of the tenants’ possessions before locking them out of the property.  The renter may use replevin law to sue the landlord in order to repossess the property being withheld.

When a person feels like their rights are being violated because another person will not return property, legal assistance is often needed.  Churchill, Quinn, Richtman & Hamilton, Ltd has knowledgeable, understanding attorneys who will truly listen to you and help you determine if you have a strong legal claim to the property in question.  We know how to win in court, and we always have our clients’ best interests in mind.  Contact us for further information at 847-223-1500 or

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