Detinue is a common law action for the recovery of personal property. It allows a plaintiff to recover such property even if it is not in the possession of the party who converted it.

The only defence to an action in detinue is that the party in possession came into possession by paying valuable consideration for the property in good faith. See, for example, Lewis v. Averay [1972] 1 QB 198. The plaintiff will succeed in the alternative if they can prove the party in possession either obtained the property for no consideration (such as receiving a gift) or obtained it in bad faith (e.g. knowing it was stolen).

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