Replevin (recovering personal property)


Sometimes abusers, ex-partners, or other people take things or won’t return things that are yours. 

People who want to get their property back can file a civil case against that person. The Court can tell the person to return your property and might also make them pay you additional money for them having taken it. When the Court does this, it’s called a replevin action.

How do you start a replevin action?

You can ask for a replevin action in the county or district court where the property is located; if the value of property is more than $15,000 you must file in district court.

You will have to file forms explaining:

  • What the property is
  • Why you should get the property back
  • How the other person got possession of the property
  • Why you think the person who has the property is wrong

You also have to tell the person who has your property that you filed the forms. This is done though service of process and means having the forms delivered to them.

After the forms are filed and the other person is served, a court date will be set, usually in 1-2 weeks. When you go to court, you will be asked to show why the property should be returned to you. A judge will decide whether the property should be given to you, and if the person who took it should have to pay you anything else.

For assistance with this process, you can visit the Self-Help Center at your local courthouse. Find your local self-help center here