Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1981

Link to law: https://legislation.gov.im/cms/images/LEGISLATION/PRINCIPAL/1981/1981-0035/TortsInterferencewithGoodsAct1981_1.pdf
Published: 2012-09-01

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Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1981

c i e
AT 35 of 1981

TORTS (INTERFERENCE WITH GOODS)

ACT 1981

Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1981 Index


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c i e
TORTS (INTERFERENCE WITH GOODS) ACT 1981

Index Section Page

Preliminary 5

1 Definition of ‘wrongful interference with goods’ ...................................................... 5
Detention of goods 5

2 Abolition of detinue ....................................................................................................... 5
3 Form of judgment where goods are detained ............................................................ 6
4 Interlocutory relief where goods are detained ........................................................... 7
Damages 7

5 Extinction of title on satisfaction of claim for damages ............................................ 7
6 Allowance for improvement of the goods .................................................................. 8
Liability to two or more claimants 9

7 Double liability ................................................................................................................ 9
8 Competing rights to the goods ................................................................................... 10
Conversion and trespass to goods 10

9 Co-owners ...................................................................................................................... 10
10 Minor amendments ...................................................................................................... 11
Uncollected goods 11

11 Bailee’s power of sale ................................................................................................... 11
12 Sale authorised by the court ........................................................................................ 12
Supplemental 13

13 Interpretation ................................................................................................................. 13
14 Transitional provisions ................................................................................................ 13
15 Application to the Crown ............................................................................................ 13
16 Short title, etc ................................................................................................................. 13
SCHEDULE 1 15

UNCOLLECTED GOODS 15
SCHEDULE 2 17

TRANSITIONAL 17
Index Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1981


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ENDNOTES 19

TABLE OF LEGISLATION HISTORY 19
TABLE OF RENUMBERED PROVISIONS 19
TABLE OF ENDNOTE REFERENCES 19

Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1981 Section 1


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c i e
TORTS (INTERFERENCE WITH GOODS) ACT 1981

Received Royal Assent: 24 November 1981
Passed: 15 December 1981
Commenced: 1 June 1982
AN ACT
to amend the law concerning conversion and other torts affecting
goods.
Preliminary
1 Definition of ‘wrongful interference with goods’

[P1977/32/1]
(1) In this Act “wrongful interference
”, or “wrongful interference with

goods
”, means —
(a) conversion of goods (also caller trover),
(b) trespass to goods,
(c) negligence so far as it results in damage to goods or to an interest
in goods,
(d) subject to section 2, any other tort so far as it results in damage to
goods or to an interest in goods.
(2) References in this Act (however worded) to proceedings for wrongful
interference or to a claim or right to claim for wrongful interference
include references to proceedings by virtue of Part I of the Consumer
Protection Act 1991 (product liability) in respect of any damage to goods
or to an interest in goods, or, as the case may be, to a claim or right to
claim by virtue of that Part in respect of any such damage.1

Detention of goods
2 Abolition of detinue

[P1977/32/2]
(1) Detinue is abolished.
Section 3 Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1981


Page 6 AT 35 of 1981 c

(2) An action lies in conversion for loss or destruction of goods which a
bailee has allowed to happen in breach of his duty to his bailor (that is to
say it lies in a case which is not otherwise conversion, but would have
been detinue before detinue was abolished).
3 Form of judgment where goods are detained

[P1977/32/3]
(1) In proceedings for wrongful interference against a person who is in
possession or in control of the goods relief may be given in accordance
with this section, so far as appropriate.
(2) The relief is —
(a) an order for delivery of the goods, and for payment of any
consequential damages, or
(b) an order for delivery of the goods, but giving the defendant the
alternative of paying damages by reference to the value of the
goods, together in either alternative with payment of any
consequential damages, or
(c) damages.
(3) Subject to rules of court —
(a) relief shall be given under only one of paragraphs (a), (b) and (c)
of subsection (2),
(b) relief under subsection (2)(a) is at the discretion of the court, and
the claimant may choose between the others.
(4) If it is shown to the satisfaction of the court that an order under
subsection (2)(a) has not been complied with, the court may —
(a) revoke the order, or the relevant part of it, and
(b) make an order for payment of damages by reference to the value
of the goods.
(5) Where an order is made under subsection (2)(b) the defendant may
satisfy the order by returning the goods at any time before execution of
judgment, but without prejudice to liability to pay any consequential
damages.
(6) An order for delivery of the goods under subsection (2)(a) or (b) may
impose such conditions as may be determined by the court, or pursuant
to rules of court, and in particular, where damages by reference to the
value of the goods would not be the whole of the value of the goods, may
require an allowance to be made by the claimant to reflect the difference.
For example, a bailor’s action against the bailee may be one in which the
measure of damages is not the full value of the goods, and then the court
may order delivery of the goods, but require the bailor to pay the bailee a
sum reflecting the difference.
Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1981 Section 4


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(7) Where under section 6(1) or (2) an allowance is to be made in respect of
an improvement of the goods, and an order is made under subsection
(2)(a) or (b), the court may assess the allowance to be made in respect of
the improvement, and by the order require, as a condition for delivery of
the goods, that allowance to be made by the claimant.
(8) This section is without prejudice —
(a) to the remedies afforded by sections 13 and 14 of the Hire Purchase
Act 1939, or
(b) to any jurisdiction to afford ancillary or incidental relief.
4 Interlocutory relief where goods are detained

[P1977/32/4(1)-(4)]
(1) In this section “proceedings”’ means proceedings for wrongful
interference.
(2) On the application of any person in accordance with rules of court, the
court shall, in such circumstances as may be specified in the rules, have
power to make an order providing for the delivery up of any goods
which are or may become the subject matter of subsequent proceedings
in the court, or as to which any question may arise in proceedings.
(3) Delivery shall be, as the order may provide, to the claimant or to a
person appointed by the court for the purpose, and shall be on such
terms and conditions as may be specified in the order.
(4) The power to make rules of court under Part III of the High Court Act
1991 shall include power to make rules of court as to the manner in
which an application for such an order can be made, and as to the
circumstances in which such an order can be made; and any such rules
may include such incidental, supplementary and consequential
provisions as the authority making the rules may consider necessary or
expedient.2

Damages
5 Extinction of title on satisfaction of claim for damages

[P1977/32/5]
(1) Where damages for wrongful interference are, or would fall to be,
assessed on the footing that the claimant is being compensated —
(a) for the whole of his interest in the goods, or
(b) for the whole of his interest in the goods subject to a reduction for
contributory negligence,
payment of the assessed damages (under all heads), or as the case may
be, settlement of a claim for damages for the wrong (under all heads),
extinguishes the claimant’s title to that interest.
Section 6 Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1981


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(2) In subsection (1) the reference to the settlement of the claim includes —
(a) where the claim is made in court proceedings, and the defendant
has paid a sum into court to meet the whole claim, the taking of
that sum by the claimant, and
(b) where the claim is made in court proceedings, and the
proceedings are settled or compromised, the payment of what is
due in accordance with the settlement or compromise, and
(c) where the claim is made out of court and is settled or
compromised, the payment of what is due in accordance with the
settlement or compromise.
(3) It is hereby declared that subsection (1) does not apply where damages
are assessed on the footing that the claimant is being compensated for
the whole of his interest in the goods, but the damages paid are limited
to some lesser amount by virtue of any enactment or rule of law.
(4) Where under section 7(3) the claimant accounts over to another person
(the ‘third party’) so as to compensate (under all heads) the third party
for the whole of his interest in the goods, the third party’s title to that
interest is extinguished.
(5) This section has effect subject to any agreement varying the respective
rights of the parties to the agreement, and where the claim is made in
court proceedings has effect subject to any order of the court.
6 Allowance for improvement of the goods

[P1977/32/6]
(1) If in proceedings for wrongful interference against a person (the
‘improver’) who has improved the goods, it is shown that the improver
acted in the mistaken but honest belief that he had a good title to them,
an allowance shall be made for the extent to which, at the time as at
which the goods fall to be valued in assessing damages, the value of the
goods is attributable to the improvement.
(2) If, in proceedings for wrongful interference against a person (the
‘purchaser’) who has purported to purchase the goods —
(a) from the improver, or
(b) where after such a purported sale the goods passed by a further
purported sale on one or more occasions, on any such occasion,
it is shown that the purchaser acted in good faith, an allowance shall be
made on the principle set out in subsection (1).
For example, where a person in good faith buys a stolen car from the
improver and is sued in conversion by the true owner the damages may
be reduced to reflect the improvement, but if the person who bought the
stolen car from the improver sues the improver for failure of
consideration, and the improver acted in good faith, subsection (3) will
Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1981 Section 7


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ordinarily make a comparable reduction in the damages he recovers
from the improver.
(3) If in a case within subsection (2) the person purporting to sell the goods
acted in good faith, then in proceedings by the purchaser for recovery of
the purchase price because of failure of consideration, or in any other
proceedings founded on that failure of consideration, an allowance shall,
where appropriate, be made on the principle set out in subsection (1).
(4) This section applies, with the necessary modifications, to a purported
bailment or other disposition of goods as it applies to a purported sale of
goods.
Liability to two or more claimants
7 Double liability

[P1977/32/7]
(1) In this section “double liability”’ means the double liability of the
wrongdoer which can arise —
(a) where one of two or more rights of action for wrongful
interference is founded on a possessory title, or
(b) where the measure of damages in an action for wrongful
interference founded on a proprietary title is or includes the entire
value of the goods, although the interest is one of two or more
interests in the goods.
(2) In proceedings to which any two or more claimants are parties, the relief
shall be such as to avoid double liability of the wrongdoer as between
those claimants.
(3) On satisfaction, in whole or in part, of any claim for an amount
exceeding that recoverable if subsection (2) applied, the claimant is liable
to account over to the other person having a right to claim to such extent
as will avoid double liability.
(4) Where, as the result of enforcement of a double liability, any claimant is
unjustly enriched to any extent, he shall be liable to reimburse the
wrongdoer to that extent.
For example, if a converter of goods pays damages first to a finder of the
goods, and then to the true owner, the finder is unjustly enriched unless
he accounts over to the true owner under subsection (3); and then the
true owner is unjustly enriched and becomes liable to reimburse the
converter of the goods.
Section 8 Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1981


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8 Competing rights to the goods

[P1977/32/8]
(1) The defendant in an action for wrongful interference shall be entitled to
show, in accordance with rules of court, that a third party has a better
right than the plaintiff as respects all or any part of the interest claimed
by the plaintiff, or in right of which he sues, and any rule of law
(sometimes called jus tertii) to the contrary is abolished.
(2) Rules of court relating to proceedings for wrongful interference may —
(a) require the plaintiff to give particulars of his title,
(b) require the plaintiff to identify any person who, to his knowledge,
has or claims any interest in the goods,
(c) authorise the defendant to apply for directions as to whether any
person should be joined with a view to establishing whether he
has a better right than the plaintiff, or has a claim as a result of
which the defendant might be doubly liable,
(d) where a party fails to appear on an application within paragraph
(c), or to comply with any direction given by the court on such an
application, authorise the court to deprive him of any right of
action against the defendant for the wrong either unconditionally,
or subject to such terms or conditions as may be specified.
(3) Subsection (2) is without prejudice to any other power of making rules of
court.
Conversion and trespass to goods
9 Co-owners

[P1977/32/10]
(1) Co-ownership is no defence to an action founded on conversion or
trespass to goods where the defendant without the authority of the other
co-owner —
(a) destroys the goods, or disposes of the goods in a way giving a
good title to the entire property in the goods, or otherwise does
anything equivalent to the destruction of the other’s interest in the
goods, or
(b) purports to dispose of the goods in a way which would give a
good title to the entire property in the goods if he was acting with
the authority of all co-owners of the goods.
(2) Subsection (1) shall not affect the law concerning execution or
enforcement of executions, or concerning any form of distress.
(3) Subsection (1)(a) is by way of restatement of existing law so far as it
relates to conversion.
Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1981 Section 10


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10 Minor amendments

[P1977/32/11]
(1) Contributory negligence is no defence in proceedings founded on
conversion, or on intentional trespass to goods.
(2) Receipt of goods by way of pledge is conversion if the delivery of the
goods is conversion.
(3) Denial of title is not of itself conversion.
Uncollected goods
11 Bailee’s power of sale

[P1977/32/12]
(1) This section applies to goods in the possession or under the control of a
bailee where —
(a) the bailor is in breach of an obligation to take delivery of the
goods or, if the terms of the bailment so provide, to give
directions as to their delivery, or
(b) the bailee could impose such an obligation by giving notice to the
bailor, but is unable to trace or communicate with the bailor, or
(c) the bailee can reasonably expect to be relieved of any duty to
safeguard the goods on giving notice to the bailor, but is unable to
trace or communicate with the bailor.
(2) In the cases of Part I of Schedule 1 a bailee may, for the purposes of
subsection (1), impose an obligation on the bailor to take delivery of the
goods, or as the case may be, to give directions as to their delivery, and
in those cases Part I sets out the method of notification.
(3) If the bailee —
(a) has in accordance with Part II of Schedule 1 given notice to the
bailor of his intention to sell the goods under this subsection, or
(b) has failed to trace or communicate with the bailor with a view to
giving him such a notice, after having taken reasonable steps for
the purpose,
and is reasonably satisfied that the bailor owns the goods, he shall be
entitled, as against the bailor, to sell the goods.
(4) Where subsection (3) applies but the bailor did not in fact own the goods,
a sale under this section, or under section 12, shall not give a good title as
against the owner, or as against a person claiming under the owner.
(5) A bailee exercising his powers under subsection (3) shall be liable to
account to the bailor for the proceeds of sale, less any costs of sale, and —
Section 12 Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1981


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(a) the account shall be taken on the footing that the bailee should
have adopted the best method of sale reasonably available in the
circumstances, and
(b) where subsection (3)(a) applies, any sum payable in respect of the
goods by the bailor to the bailee which accrued due before the
bailee gave notice of intention to sell the goods shall be deductible
from the proceeds of sale.
(6) A sale duly made under this section gives a good title to the purchaser as
against the bailor.
(7) In this section, section 12, and Schedule 1 —
(a) “bailor
” and “bailee
” include their respective successors in title,
and
(b) references to what is payable, paid or due to the bailee in respect
of the goods include references, to what would be payable by the
bailor to the bailee as a condition of delivery of the goods at the
relevant time.
(8) This section, and Schedule 1, have effect subject to the terms of the
bailment.
(9) This section shall not apply where the goods were bailed before the
commencement of this Act.
12 Sale authorised by the court

[P1977/32/13(1) and (2)]
(1) If a bailee of the goods to which section 11 applies satisfies the court that
he is entitled to sell the goods under section 11, or that he would be so
entitled if he had given any notice required in accordance with Schedule
1, the court —
(a) may authorise the sale of the goods subject to such terms and
conditions, if any, as may be specified in the order, and
(b) may authorise the bailee to deduct from the proceeds of sale any
costs of sale and any amount due from the bailor to the bailee in
respect of the goods, and
(c) may direct the payment into court of the net proceeds of sale, less
any amount deducted under paragraph (b), to be held to the
credit of the bailor.
(2) A decision of the court authorising a sale under this section shall, subject
to any right of appeal, be conclusive, as against the bailor, of the bailee’s
entitlement to sell the goods, and gives a good title to the purchaser as
against the bailor.
Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1981 Section 13


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Supplemental
13 Interpretation

In this Act —
“court
” means the High Court;
“goods
” includes all chattels personal other than things in action and money.
14 Transitional provisions

The transitional provisions contained in Schedule 2 shall have effect.
15 Application to the Crown

This Act shall bind the Crown, but as regards the Crown’s liability in tort shall
not bind the Crown further than the Crown is made liable in tort by the law of
the Island prior to the passing of this Act.
16 Short title, etc

(1) This Act may be cited as the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1981.
(2) This Act shall come into force on such day as the Governor in Council
may by order appoint, and such an order may appoint different dates for
different provisions or for different purposes.3

Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1981 Schedule 1



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Schedule 1

UNCOLLECTED GOODS

Sections 11 and 12
PART I – POWER TO IMPOSE OBLIGATION TO COLLECT

GOODS
P1977/32/Sch 1
1. (1) For the purposes of section 11(1) a bailee may, in the
circumstances specified in this Part, by notice given to the bailor impose
on him an obligation to take delivery of the goods.
(2) The notice shall be in writing, and may be given either —
(a) by delivering it to the bailor, or
(b) by leaving it at his proper address, or
(c) by post.
(3) The notice shall —
(a) specify the name and address of the bailee, and give sufficient
particulars of the goods and the address or place where they are
held, and
(b) state that the goods are ready for delivery to the bailor, or where
combined with a notice terminating the contract of bailment, will
be ready for delivery when the contract is terminated, and
(c) specify the amount, if any, which is payable by the bailor to the
bailee in respect of the goods and which became due before the
giving of the notice.
(4) Where the notice is sent by post it may be combined with a notice under
Part II if the notice is sent by post in a way complying with paragraph
6(4).
(5) References in this Part to taking delivery of the goods include, where the
terms of the bailment admit, references to giving directions as to their
delivery.
(6) This Part is without prejudice to the provisions of any contract requiring
the bailor to take delivery of the goods.
Goods accepted for repair or other treatment
2. If a bailee has accepted goods for repair or other treatment on the terms
(expressed or implied) that they will be re-delivered to the bailor when
the repair or other treatment has been carried out, the notice may be
given at any time after the repair or other treatment has been carried out.
Schedule 1
Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1981


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Goods accepted for valuation or appraisal
3. If a bailee has accepted goods in order to value or appraise them, the
notice may be given at any time after the bailee has carried out the
valuation or appraisal.
Storage, warehousing, etc.
4. (1) If a bailee is in possession of goods which he has held as
custodian, and his obligation as custodian has come to an end, the notice
may be given at any time after the ending of the obligation, or may be
combined with any notice terminating his obligation as custodian.
(2) This paragraph shall not apply to goods held by a person as mercantile
agent, that is to say by a person having in the customary course of his
business as a mercantile agent authority either to sell goods or to consign
goods for the purpose of sale, or to buy goods, or to raise money on the
security of goods.
Supplemental
5. Paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 apply whether or not the bailor has paid any
amount due to the bailee in respect of the goods, and whether or not the
bailment is for reward, or in the course of business, or gratuitous.
PART II – NOTICE OF INTENTION TO SELL GOODS

6. (1) A notice under section 11(3) shall —
(a) specify the name and address of the bailee, and give sufficient
particulars of the goods and the address or place where they are
held, and
(b) specify the date on or after which the bailee proposes to sell the
goods, and
(c) specify the amount, if any, which is payable by the bailor to the
bailee in respect of the goods, and which became due before the
giving of the notice.
(2) The period between giving of the notice and the date specified in the
notice as that on or after which the bailee proposes to exercise the power
of sale shall be such as will afford the bailor a reasonable opportunity of
taking delivery of the goods.
(3) If any amount is payable in respect of the goods by the bailor to the
bailee, and become due before giving of the notice, the said period shall
be not less than three months.
(4) The notice shall be in writing and shall be sent by post in a registered
letter, or by the recorded delivery service.
Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1981 Schedule 2



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7. (1) The bailee shall not give a notice under section 11(3), or exercise
his right to sell the goods pursuant to such a notice, at a time when he
has notice that, because of a dispute concerning the goods, the bailor is
questioning or refusing to pay all or any part of what the bailee claims to
be due to him in respect of the goods.
(2) This paragraph shall be left out of account in determining under section
12(1) whether a bailee of goods is entitled to sell the goods under section
11, or would be so entitled if he had given any notice required in
accordance with this Schedule.
Supplemental
8. For the purposes of this Schedule, and of section 41 of the Interpretation
Act 1976 in its application to this Schedule, the proper address of the
person to whom a notice is to be given shall be —
(a) in the case of a body corporate, a registered or principal office of
the body corporate, and
(b) in any other case, the last known address of the person.
Schedule 2

TRANSITIONAL

Section 14
[P1977/32/Sch 2]
1. This Act shall not affect any action or arbitration brought before the
commencement of this Act or any proceedings brought to enforce a
decision in the action or arbitration.
2. Subject to paragraph 1, this Act applies to acts or omissions before it
comes into force as well as to later ones, and for the purposes of the
Statute of Limitations 1891, or any other limitation enactment, the cause
of action shall be treated as having accrued at the time of the act or
omission even if proceedings could not have been brought before the
commencement of this Act.
3. For the purposes of this Schedule, any claim by way of set-off or
counterclaim shall be deemed to be a separate action, and to have been
brought on the same date as the action in which the set-off or
counterclaim is pleaded.
Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1981 Endnotes


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ENDNOTES

Table of Legislation History

Legislation Year and No Commencement






Table of Renumbered Provisions

Original Current






Table of Endnote References

1
Subs (2) added by Consumer Protection Act 1991 Sch 4. 2
Subs (4) amended by High Court Act 1991 Sch 3. 3
ADO (whole Act)1/6/1982 (GC32/82).