Trover is a form of lawsuit for recovery of damages for wrongful taking of personal property. Trover belongs to a series of remedies for such wrongful taking, its distinctive feature being recovery only for the value of whatever was taken, not for the recovery of the property itself.
Trovers may be served at the defendant's residence or, as a last resort, the place of employment within Fulton County.
The filing fee is $60.00 for one defendant and $50.00 for service by the Marshall. Business check or certified funds should be made payable to Magistrate Court.
Procedures for Filing a Trover
The Clerk of Magistrate Court provides forms for filing a Trover (PDF). An applicant may appear in person in the office of the Clerk of Magistrate Court at either the Central location or the North or South Annex. The clerk will process your paperwork.
A person who has been served with a Trover has 30 days to file an answer. If an answer is not filed within 30 days, the defendant is in default. A defendant may file an answer from the 31st to the 45th day upon payment of court cost. Download the Answer/Counterclaim Form (PDF).
If the defendant fails to file an answer within 45 days, the plaintiff may request a default judgment. A plaintiff wishing to obtain a default judgment should file for an Affidavit for Default Judgment with the Clerk of Magistrate Court.
If a defendant files an answer a hearing will be scheduled within 30 days of the date of the answer, but no sooner than 15 days. Both parties will have the right to present evidence and call witnesses. The parties should bring any relevant evidence with them to court; including copies of the contract, receipts, ledgers, photographs or other relevant items.
At the discretion of the court, the matter may be referred to mediation prior to court to give the parties an opportunity to speak to see if the matter can be resolved without a hearing. A mediator will be provided by the court to assist the parties in discussing the matter, at no additional cost. If a decision cannot be reached during mediation, the court will set up a hearing date and the case will be presented to the judge.
If a party has witnesses, the party should bring them to the hearing. Written statements may not be accepted as evidence. If assistance is needed to obtain the attendance of witnesses, a Request for Subpoena (PDF) (Request for Subpoena 060715) form should be completed and returned to the Clerk of Magistrate Court along with the required fee.