Lack of Identity of Property

An action for conversion cannot be maintained for something that was not in existence at the time of the alleged conversion.  An identifiable objector property should be wrongfully deprived in order to support a claim in conversion.  In TCI, Inc. v. Carpenter, 1993 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12088 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 30, 1993), the court stated that the subject of conversion is required to be an identifiable object of property of which the plaintiff was wrongfully deprived.  Money can be the subject of conversion, but it should be capable of being described as a specific chattel, even though it is not necessary for purposes of identification that money should be specifically earmarked.

An action for conversion does not lie where the plaintiff relates the title to a property that has not yet passed to him because it involves property to be acquired by the seller in the future.  In Tobin v. Labidou (In re Labidou), 2009 Bankr. LEXIS 2800 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. Sept. 8, 2009), the court held that the standard of proof in a conversion action in Florida is preponderance of the evidence.

In Whirlpool Corp. v. Bank of Naperville, 97 Ill. App. 3d 139 (Ill. App. Ct. 2d Dist. 1981), the court stated that the claimant should establish the identity of the property by a preponderance of the evidence and ownership and right of possession of identical property allegedly converted.  A mere possibility of suspicion created by the evidence is insufficient to comprise the required showing of specific identity of the goods.


Inside Lack of Identity of Property