June 4, 2023


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California Cannabis Claims: Conversion – Canna Law Blog™

3 min read


We’re back with the most recent aspect in our collection on popular California cannabis statements. Now, we’ll be covering a person we normally see in the context of consumer v. seller disputes: conversion.

How does California define a conversion declare?

The specialized definition of conversion is “the wrongful workout of dominion in excess of the particular property of a further.” It essentially means that the defendant interfered with the plaintiff’s suitable to possession of tangible property (not like serious property). If a conversion declare is uncovered, the plaintiff is entitled to get well the whole value of the property. The plaintiff may well also be entitled to punitive and other additional damages in certain contexts (more on that under). As I outlined higher than, we ordinarily see this declare pop up when a vendor presents product to a consumer but doesn’t get paid – given that the seller hasn’t been given the gain of the deal, the buyer’s continued possession of the item could sort the basis of a California cannabis claim for conversion.

Statute of limits

The statute of limits for conversion is 3 years. This indicates the declare requirements to be filed within three decades of the wrongful using. There are exceptions to this rule although. Very first, if the defendant’s getting was initially lawful (like an individual borrowed your tools with your authorization), the clock begins ticking when the defendant rejects the plaintiff’s residence legal rights (you ask for your tools again and they refuse to give them back again). Second, if the defendant fraudulently conceals the conversion, the clock starts off ticking when the plaintiff discovers or should have learned the conversion. This 2nd situation is frequently regarded as the “discovery rule.”

Aspects of a conversion claim

California Civil Jury Recommendations (CACI) is a beneficial that shows the features of for California claims and brings about of motion. The suitable CACI instruction for conversion supplies that in buy to create this assert, the plaintiff have to verify all of the adhering to:

  1. That the plaintiff owned (or possessed) some merchandise of personalized home
  2. That the defendant substantially interfered with the plaintiff’s particular house by knowingly or intentionally having possession of the own property (or preventing plaintiff from acquiring obtain to, destroying, or refusing to return the personalized assets)
  3. That the plaintiff did not consent
  4. That the plaintiff was harmed and
  5. That the defendant’s perform was a significant factor in causing the plaintiff’s hurt.

So what desires to be proven is this: the plaintiff lawfully owned some thing, the defendant wrongfully interfered with that possession, and the defendant’s interference brought about the plaintiff’s damage. If a plaintiff proves all of these factors and there are no applicable defenses, they can realize success on their California hashish assert. The issue then becomes what remedies are out there.

Solutions for claims of conversion

California Civil Code sections 3336-3338 specifically deal with damages for conversion. The standard evaluate of damages is the comprehensive fair current market worth of the home, furthermore interest. The honest sector benefit is measured at the time of conversion – so for case in point, if item prices speedily fell amongst the time of the conversion and the time of the lawsuit, the plaintiff would be entitled to that first, better cost.

Conversion claims are especially terrifying for the reason that they potentially open up the door to punitive damages. Punitive damages are accessible in which plaintiff displays by apparent and convincing evidence that defendant was guilty of oppression, fraud, or malice. In a scenario of willful conversion – i.e., another person breaks into a California hashish organization and steals a thing – this could not be all that really hard to prove. In most conditions, this can be considerably additional hard to establish.

Ultimately, when the information of the conversion claim also represent receipt of stolen assets under Penal Code § 496, the plaintiff could request treble damages (damages x3), costs of go well with, and sensible attorneys’ expenses. There is a line of California circumstance law that especially establishes that Part 496 can utilize to “ordinary business disputes exactly where regular cures for breach of contract, fraud, and conversion had been out there.”

For our other content on prevalent California promises, see:


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