Strategic Advocacy for Property Disputes – Real Estate, Land-Based and High Value Personal Property Litigation Lawyers
Toronto Lawyers for High-Value Personal Property Litigation
We recognize the importance of your personal property, and the need to quickly enforce your rights. Gilbertson Davis LLP can assist our clients in protecting their personal property assets through results-oriented litigation strategies.
What is Personal Property?
Personal property is distinguishable from real property, as the former refers to chattel or objects and the latter refers to land or real estate. Some examples of high-value personal property include: precious jewels, diamonds, gold, silver, high-end art including paintings and sculptures, luxury cars, yachts, cranes, mechanical and industrial equipment, aircrafts, animals, and specialty collector watches, wines, or handbags. Corporations may also have specific personal property items that are uniquely tailored to suit their business needs.
Personal Property Security Act
The Personal Property Security Act (“PPSA”) regulates the creation and registration of security interests in all personal property within Ontario.
When personal property is used to secure payment of debt as collateral, PPSA governs the rights of the creditors and the debtors. The PPSA is broad in scope, as it is generally concerned with transactions that creates a security interest. Within the PPSA, personal property is divided into different categories such as goods, instruments, documents of title, chattel paper, securities, money, intangibles (e.g. licenses).
How do Disputes Arise?
Disputes surrounding personal property may arise in a variety of different ways. There may be different legal obligations depending on if the object was abandoned, lost, stolen, hidden, or found.
- Theft or Damage
Disputes regarding a high-value object being stolen or damaged, or an individual being accused of stealing or damaging an object are quite common.
- Gift vs. Loan
Disagreements may also arise as to whether a high-value object was provided as a gift or a loan. For more information, please see our related practice page on gifts and loans.
The sale of chattel may also involve failure to complete the necessary payments, disputes over what the agreed upon payment was, or disputes regarding the duration of the possession in cases of leases, pledges or mortgages. In other words, disputes may arise when the underlying contract surrounding the sale of the chattel has been breached. Certain industries may have existing customs surrounding claims of ownership over personal property, which may also influence the status of certain legal disputes.
- Finders Claims | Possessory Claims
It is not always as simple as “finders keepers”. Relevant considerations include: whether one is the true owner, finder, or occupier of the personal property, the parties intentions in relation to the personal property, whether the finder was trespassing, whether the finder was in an employer-employee relationship, and whether the chattel is attached (in or under the surface), unattached (on the surface), and whether the finder fulfilled various duties.
- Capacity & Undue Influence
Personal property must be transferred willingly, voluntarily, and by individuals with the capacity to form the requisite intention. Capacity is fluid and dynamic in nature, thus, just because an individual is now capable of making such a decision, does not mean they were at the time that the agreement was made. Undue influence may arise where there is a power imbalance present in the relationship, one individual is in a particularly vulnerable state (e.g. weak, depressed, uniquely susceptible to influence), instances of coercion, or where there has been purposeful misleading or “tricks”.When capacity or undue influence may be an issue, it is important to consider whether independent legal advice was offered or given, whether the decision was made spontaneously or after a period of reflection, and whether the decision was made independently or jointly.
Monetary compensation as a remedy may be available in cases involving personal property. Damages may also be awarded against an individual who wrongfully interferes with the value of the personal property (e.g. the object was broken).
The Court may also order the sale of the chattel. Injunctions may also be ordered (whether interim, interlocutory, or permanent in nature) to prevent an individual from using, selling, or destroying the chattel. For more information of urgent and equitable remedies, please click here.
Why Gilbertson Davis LLP?
Gilbertson Davis LLP can serve your needs with lawyers who are experienced in the area of personal property. We strive to resolve our clients’ disputes efficiently through the provision of quality legal services at reasonable rates. Gilbertson Davis LLP can provide you with sound advice and results-oriented representation.