Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    An unlawful exercise of dominion over, an intentional change in the nature or destruction of the chattel of another. See 24 Am. St. Rep. 795, note. Changing realty to personalty, or the reverse.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    In equity. The transformation of one species of property into another, as money into land or land into money; or, more particularly, a fiction of law, by which equity assumes that such a transformation has taken place (contrary to the fact) when it is rendered necessary by the equities of the case,—as to carry into effect the directions of a will or settlement,—and by which the property so dealt with becomes invested with the properties and attributes of that into which it is supposed to have been converted. Seymour v. Freer, 8 Wall. 214, 19 L. Ed. 306; Haward v. Peavey, 128 III. 430, 21 N. E. 503, 15 Ain. St Rep. 120; Yerkes v. Yerkes, 200 Pa. 419, 50 AtL 186; Appeal of Clarke, 70 Conn. 195, 39 Atl. 155. At law. An unauthorized assumption and exercise of the right of ownership over goods or personal chattels belonging to another, to the alteration of their condition or the exclusion of the owner's rights. Baldwin v. Cole, 6 Mod. 212; Trust Co. v. Tod, 170 N. Y. 233, 63 N. B. 285; Boyce v. Brockway, 31 N. Y. 490; University v. Bank, 96 N. C. 280, 3 S. E. 359; Webber v. Davis, 44 Me, 147, 69 Am. Dec. 87; Gilman v. Hill, 36 N. H. 311; Stough v. Stefani, 19 Neb. 468, 27 N. W. 445; Schroeppel v. Coming, 5 Denio (N. Y.) 236; Aschermann v. Brewing Co., 45 Wis. 266.
    —Constructive conversion. An implied or virtual conversion, which takes place where a person does such acts in reference to the goods of another as amount in law to the appropriation of the property to himself. Scruggs v. Scruggs (C. C.) 105 Fed. 28: Laverty v. Sneth-en, 68 N. Y. 524, 23 Am. Rep. 184.