In New Jersey, common law conversion is defined as ” ‘the exercise of any act of dominion in denial of another’s title to . . . chattels, or inconsistent with such title. ‘ ” Marsellis-Warner Corp. v. Rabens, 51 F. Supp. 2d 508, 525 (D.N.J. 1999) (quoting Mueller v. Technical Devices Corp., 8 N.J. 201, 207, 84 A.2d 620 (N.J. 1951). More loosely, conversion may be thought of as the civil remedy for theft, for unlawful taking, or for unlawful keeping.
The elements of conversion in New Jersey are: “(a) that the property and right to immediate possession thereof belong to the plaintiff; and (b) the wrongful act of interference with that right by the defendant.” Davis v. Connolly, No. 09-cv-4629 (D.N.J. Feb. 11, 2010) (quotingFirst National Bank v. North Jersey Trust Co., 18 N.J. Misc. 449, 14 A.2d 765, 767 (N.J. 1940)); see also Marsellis-Warner Corp., 51 F. Supp. 2d at 525.
Further, in New Jersey, a negotiable instrument (such as certain drafts, checks, money orders, certificates of deposit, and notes) is converted when (i) “it is taken by transfer, other than a negotiation, from a person not entitled to enforce the instrument” or (ii) “a bank makes or obtains payment with respect to the instrument for a person not entitled to enforce the instrument or receive payment.” N.J. U.C.C. § 12A:3-420(a); see N.J. U.C.C. §§ 12A:3-420(b) – 12A:3-420(c); id. § 12A:3-104 (defining ” ‘ negotiable instrument’ “).
If your company wants to bring, or needs a lawyer to defend it in, business litigation and you are located in the New York City area, call Attorney David S. Rich at (347) 941-0760.
Mr. Rich has represented clients in, among other civil and commercial matters, breach of contract actions, business torts cases, bankruptcy and adversary proceedings, civil racketeering actions, oppressed minority shareholder disputes, product liability litigation, franchisor-franchisee litigation, qui tam actions, divorce actions and post-divorce judgment proceedings.
About the Author David S. Rich is the founding member of the Law Offices of David S. Rich, LLC,
a New York Employment and Business Litigation Law Firm, in New
York City and in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey...Read more