We recently received another inquiry regarding the use of a replevin action for a pet.
A writ of replevin is a prejudgment process ordering the seizure or attachment of an alleged illegal taking or wrongfully withheld property, goods or chattle (any kind of personal property).
The action of replevin dates all the way back to the common laws of old England and was first used in the thirteenth century. This type of writ is commonly used to take property from an individual wrongfully in possession of that specific property and return it to its rightful owner.
We have discussed on many occasions the evolution of the status of pets and companion animals. They originally were clearly identified as the “personal property” of their owners in the eyes of the Court. But now, in most circumstances, they have been elevated to a higher position.
In many situations, the attorney for the owners have determined that it is necessary to file an action to demand the return of “personal property” if a pet has been wrongfully taken or detained.
There may be no other legal remedy available.