2011 Connecticut Code
Title 52 Civil Actions
Chapter 921 Replevin
Sec. 52-515. When action of replevin maintainable.

      Sec. 52-515. When action of replevin maintainable. The action of replevin may be maintained to recover any goods or chattels in which the plaintiff has a general or special property interest with a right to immediate possession and which are wrongfully detained from him in any manner, together with the damages for such wrongful detention.

      (1949 Rev., S. 8251; P.A. 82-160, S. 202.)

      History: P.A. 82-160 made minor changes in wording.

      See Sec. 42a-2-716(3) re goods identified to sales contract.

      In 1672, following the lead of Massachusetts, which had enacted a similar statute in 1641, the action of replevin was given for all goods and chattels "impounded, distrained, seized or extended, unless it be upon execution after judgment and in payment of fines and rates." In the revision of 1821, special provisions were made for determining the court to which the action should be brought, and the forms of proceeding in different cases. In the compilation of 1835, the action was restricted to cases of impounding, distraining and attachments; and, in the revision of 1849, to cases of impounding and attachments levied on the goods of a third party. In 1863 it was extended to all other cases of unlawful detention of goods (54 C. 318), but the special provisions regulating the forms of proceeding in regard to cases of impounding and attachments were retained; in the revision of 1875 they were consolidated and essentially changed. Replevin is governed by statute rather than by the rules of the common-law action of the same name. 66 C. 547. Action of replevin examined and explained. 14 C. 114. See a review of the various changes in our legislation in 38 C. 249. If cattle lawfully impounded are unlawfully detained by the poundkeeper, the impounder is not liable in this action. 24 C. 361. Prior to the revision of 1875, replevin would not lie for property taken on execution; 39 C. 213; 41 C. 321; 44 C. 176, 177; but the statute, as then revised, embraces chattels held on an execution. 49 C. 112, 113. Right to immediate possession was necessary at common law; 42 C. 76; 60 C. 465; otherwise by statute. 42 C. 76. Previous demand unnecessary, when. 42 C. 425; 86 C. 372; 105 C. 677. Replevin is maintainable by a receiptor of goods attached. 45 C. 109. Not maintainable by purchaser of stolen goods against officer holding them for identification. Id., 548. Replevin does not lie for liquors seized for condemnation; 48 C. 200; nor for liquors kept to be sold in violation of law. 49 C. 164. Effect of acquiring right to the property pending suit. 51 C. 176. Lies only for specific, distinguishable property. 54 C. 318. Money is not repleviable, when. 66 C. 511. Lies to recover liquor license; 74 C. 392; to recover goods fraudulently obtained. 73 C. 547. Does not lie to recover real fixture; 75 C. 170; nor can mortgagee out of possession recover fixture severed by mortgagor. 72 C. 464. It does not lie where possession was originally secured lawfully and has not become unlawful. 83 C. 159. Lies against several where one defendant refuses delivery and others claim under him; 77 C. 462; but not where each claims different portion of goods. 86 C. 372. Bringing of action by seller of goods as rescission of sale. 91 C. 482. Proof of claim in bankruptcy for part of goods sold as defense to replevin of rest. Id. Quaere, whether writ lies for goods already held under another replevin writ. Id., 320. Effect of abandonment of replevin action. 99 C. 265. Defendant not entitled to damages unless he counterclaims; amount of damages. 101 C. 60. Demand unnecessary where conditional vendor has right to immediate possession. 105 C. 677. Owner entitled to damages for loss of use of automobile wrongfully replevied. 108 C. 526. Verdict set aside for refusal to award any damages; and for awarding excessive damages. 100 C. 97, 99. See note to Sec. 52-517 re 128 C. 199 and Id., 506. Plaintiff must rely on strength of his title rather than weakness of defendant's and must prove a right to immediate possession. 135 C. 517. Power of sale gives chattel mortgagee a right of general property and replevin lies. 137 C. 145. Depreciation in value during period of detention is proper element of damages, but right to such damages ceases on termination of the detention. 152 C. 695. Plaintiff did not, as a matter of statutory law, have right to immediate personal possession of pathology slides. 246 C. 45.

      Court lacked a legal basis on which to grant opportunity to redeem, repurchase or bond goods or chattels subject to replevin because an action of replevin is purely statutory, not equitable, in nature. 105 CA 749.

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