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What Can Be Taken in a Replevin Action?

In a replevin action, also called a “claim and delivery”, a party seeks to have the court order the delivery of property they claim legally belongs to them. Replevin actions differ from traditional legal claims in that a replevin claim seeks the return of the actual property taken, rather than merely seeking to be compensated with money for the value of the taken property and other resulting economic losses.

When you have questions about whether a replevin claim may be the right course of action for you or your business, turn to the creditors’ rights attorneys of Crawford & von Keller, LLC for an initial consultation to discuss the details of your case and to learn more about your legal rights and options.

What Are Replevin Claims Typically Used For?

Replevin actions are commonly used by secured creditors who want to recover collateral securing a debt or other legal obligation when the debtor has defaulted on their obligation. A replevin action can result in the court issuing an order granting the secured creditor possession of property, allowing them to repossess the collateral without committing some legal disturbance, such as repossessing a vehicle from the driveway in front of the owner’s home.

Replevin claims are also used in situations such as:

  • The beneficiary of an estate seeking the delivery or return of property being withheld by the estate’s administrator or executor.
  • A former tenant seeking to have their personal property returned by a landlord who seized the leased premises.
  • A business seeking the return of property deemed essential to operations (e.g. a prototype).

What Kinds of Property Can Be Subject to a Replevin Claim?

Examples of the types of property typically subject to replevin claims include:

  • Cars
  • Motorcycles
  • Watercraft
  • RVs
  • Aircraft
  • Construction equipment
  • Farm equipment
  • Manufactured homes or other mobile structures

Replevin actions may not be used to recover possession of real estate or other real property. Instead, property can only be recovered through replevin if it has the qualities of being moveable, capable of identification, and capable of being seized.

How Does a Replevin Claim Work?

Under South Carolina law, a replevin claim is formally called an “action of claim and delivery”. An action of claim and delivery allows a party to recover possession of the subject property, along with compensation for any losses resulting from the taking or withholding of the property by the defendant. An action may only be filed by someone who has a general or specific property interest in the subject property or goods. In other words, the plaintiff must have the right to take possession of the subject property.

An action of claim and delivery must be filed in the county where the subject property is located. South Carolina recognizes four specific types of actions of claim and delivery:

  • Claim and delivery based upon danger of destruction or concealment – allows for immediate seizure of the subject property by officers appointed by the court
  • Claim and delivery upon showing of waiver – allows for delivery of the subject property to the claimant based upon a voluntary waiver of possession by the party in possession
  • Claim and delivery for immediate dispossession – party in possession is given notice and opportunity for hearing prior to seizure of the property by officers appointed by the court
  • Claim and delivery for possession – party in possession does not immediately lose possession of the subject property

An action of claim and delivery typically requires the party seeking possession to file documents including:

  • An affidavit that conforms with the claim-and-delivery statute
  • A bond and notice of opportunity for a hearing for repossession, if the property is being immediately seized
  • A summons requiring the defendant to appear before a magistrate for a hearing to determine permanent right to possession

Contact Crawford & von Keller, LLC

The attorneys of Crawford & von Keller, LLC have more than 100 years of experience helping clients with a wide variety of replevin claims across South Carolina. We’ll be ready to discuss your situation in detail when you call us at (803) 790-2626 or reach out to us online to schedule a confidential consultation.

Replevin in South Carolina

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