Conversion consists of three basic elements: (1) a defendant's exercise of dominion or control (2) over the victim's property (3) in a manner inconsistent with the victim's rights of ownership. Dice v. White Family Cos., 173 Ohio App.3d 472, 477 (Ohio App. 2 Dist., 2007).
Demand return of funds - in writing!
If a defendant comes into possession of property lawfully, as is the case when a power of attorney is employed, the victim must prove two additional elements to establish conversion: (1) that he or she demanded the return of the property after the defendant exercised dominion or control over the property and (2) that the defendant refused to deliver the property to the victim. Id. If the victim proves conversion, the court will order the property be returned. If the defendant's conduct was wanton or otherwise aggravated or involved elements of fraud, malice, or insult, the victim is entitled to punitive damages. Preston v. Murty (1987), 32 Ohio St.3d 334, 336; Fisher, 159 Ohio App.3d at 750.
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