Trespass to chattel

"Chattel" refers to items of personal property such as a car, pet or jewelry. A wrongdoer commits trespass to chattel if he or she intentionally possesses someone else's property without their consent--even if only for a brief period of time. Courts require that some sort of actual harm results from the trespass to chattel.

Example: If you take your friend's new car for a joy ride without his authorization and during the course of your ride you dent the back fender, you have committed a trespass to chattel.

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