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Denver County Court

Replevin Cases

RECOVERING PROPERTY ILLEGALY TAKEN

A Replevin is a Court action in which one person seeks to recover possession of personal property wrongfully taken or detained by another person, plus money damages, if any, for the unlawful detention of the property.

The claim amount is limited to the value of $25,000.00 and the property must be located in Denver County. If the property value exceeds $25,000.00 you must file in the District Court.

For additional information, please review Rule 404 of the Colorado Rules of County Court Civil Procedure.

Forms

Verified Complaint in Replevin  
Summons  
Order to Show Cause  
Answer Under Simplified Civil Procedure  
Affidavit of Service  
Judgment and Order for Possession  
Prejudgment Order for Possession After Hearing  
Bond in Replevin  
Writ of Assistance  


You may need all or some of these forms. Read instructions carefully to determine what forms you may need.

PLAINTIFF INFORMATION

Please refer to the list of forms to determine which forms must be submitted, based on your individual circumstances, when filing your case. Keep a copy of each form for your own record and make a copy to provide to the other party.

Steps to Filing Your Case

Complete Initial Forms

The caption (plaintiff and defendant information) area of the form must be completed on all forms filed. You are the plaintiff and the person(s) you are suing is/are the defendant(s).

  • Verified Complaint in Replevin    and Exhibit A
    • Fill in all the blanks on the Complaint form. If you are filing against multiple defendants in the same action, list all of the defendants.
    • List of all property you are seeking to have returned to you and the approximate value of each property item on Exhibit A. You may list property by category (e.g. books or videos), but items of significant value (e.g. televisions, stereos, furniture, jewelry) should be separately listed item by item.
    • In item six, state why you believe you are entitled to possession of the property; how the defendant(s) took possession; and why you believe continued possession by the defendant(s) is wrong.
    • If you have any documents that can prove your right to possession of the property (such as certificate of title, contract, bill of sale, etc.) refer to the documents in this paragraph, attach copies to the Complaint, and identify as “Exhibit B”. Keep the originals for presentation as evidence at trial.
  • Summons    – Complete only the caption (plaintiff and defendant information) portion of the Summons form.
  • Answer Under Simplified Civil Procedure    – Complete only the caption (plaintiff and defendant information) portion of the Answer form.
  • Order to Show Cause    – Complete only the caption (plaintiff and defendant information) portion of the Order to Show Cause form.

File With the Court

  1. Provide the Court with two (2) copies of the completed documents.
  2. The complaint must be signed in the presence of a Notary Public or in front of the clerk at the time of filing.
  3. File exhibits (if applicable).
  4. Pay a NONREFUNDABLE filing fee.
  5. Your case will be set for a hearing.
    • The clerk will set your court date and complete the appropriate field on the Order to Show Cause form.
    • The court date will be scheduled within 7 to 14 days of your filing the Complaint.

Service on the Defendant(s)

Personal service must be completed at least 7 days before the appearance/answer date. You are responsible for paying the service fees if any.

  • Personal Service: Select either the Sheriff’s Department, a private process server, or someone who is 18 years or older and not a party to the action and who knows the Rules of Service to serve each defendant. The fee for service is usually awarded as part of your court costs if the Court rules in your favor.
    • You can locate private process servers in the yellow pages under Process Servers.
    • Provide the person who will complete service a set of the following forms for each defendant; Summons, Verified Complaint in Replevin, Order to Show Cause, and Answer. In addition, attach the appropriate exhibits.
    • Provide the process server with an Affidavit of Service    for each defendant.
    • The process server will return the original Summons to you with the Affidavit of Service completed.
    • Each defendant must be served at least 7 days before the appearance date.
    • Return the original documents with proof of service (Affidavit of Service) to the clerk on or before the date of your appearance.

Show Cause Hearing

Appear on your court date. If you fail to appear, your case may be dismissed. Be prepared for your hearing and bring the following forms

Judgment and Order for Possession
Prejudgment Order for Possession after Hearing
Bond in Replevin


DEFENDANT INFORMATION

The defendant must appear at both the date and time on the Show Cause Order and the Summons, if the dates are different.

The Defendant May

    1. File affidavits with the Court,
    2. Appear and present testimony, or
    3. File with the Court a written undertaking (post bond) to stay the delivery of the property.

COURT DATE

Appear on your scheduled court date. If you fail to appear, your case may be dismissed. If you are the defendant and you do not appear or respond a judgment could enter against you.

  • It is important that you are on time or early for your court hearing and that you have all of your information with you.
  • Please turn off your cell phone and respect all parties in the courtroom.
  • You may be asked to speak to the other party before the court hearing to determine if the claim can be settled to avoid going to trial.
  • Possible outcomes when you return to Court are;
    • The Court may enter a Judgment and Order for Possession in favor of the plaintiff. If the Court does this the defendant will be ordered to return the property to the plaintiff.
    • The Court may enter a Prejudgment Order for Possession after Hearing, if it is determined that the plaintiff is entitled to possession of the property pending a final hearing. The Court will set another hearing date for final resolution. In the interim, the Court’s Order will direct the Sheriff’s Office to take all the property from the defendant and keep it in its custody until further order.
    • The Court may require a bond before ordering the Sheriff to seize the property, to protect the rights of the parties. If you are required to post a bond, complete the Bond in Replevin.
    • The Court may continue the hearing to another date to allow additional testimony.
    • The Court may deny the plaintiff’s request for possession on the grounds that the Court does not find that the plaintiff is entitled to an Order for Possession. If the Court denies the claim, the Court may set another hearing at which time the Plaintiff can bring additional proof, or judgment will be entered in favor of the defendant and the plaintiff’s case will be dismissed.
  • After the hearing, depending on the how the Judge rules, the following will need to be completed.
    • If the Judge rules in favor of the plaintiff and awards a Judgment and Order for Possession, the defendant must return the property. If the property is not returned, the plaintiff will need to obtain a certified copy of the Court’s Order. A Writ of Assistance    will need to be prepared and submitted to the clerk for issuance. Both documents must be provided to the sheriff to seize the property and return it to the Plaintiff.
    • If the Judge issues a Prejudgment Order of Possession After Hearing, the Plaintiff will need to obtain a certified copy of the Order. A Writ of Assistance    will need to be prepared and submitted to the clerk for issuance. Both documents must be provided to the sheriff to seize the property and return it to you. You and any witnesses will also need to attend any subsequent hearing the Court may set.
    • If Judge continues the hearing to another date, you and your witnesses will need to attend at that time.
    • If the Judge entered a judgment in favor of the defendant and dismissed the claim, the plaintiff has lost the case and will not be granted possession of the property.

RETURN OF THE PROPERTY

If the property is returned to the plaintiff through the Sheriff’s Office, the Sheriff’s Office is entitled to payment of its fees and expenses for seizing and storing the property during the time prior to releasing the property to the plaintiff. If you do pay such fees or expenses, you should take your receipt to the clerk to be recorded as court costs, which may then be collected from the defendant.

EXAMINE YOUR PROPERTY

Once the property is returned, you should examine it carefully and make a complete inventory of what was returned. Determine whether all of the property has been returned and whether it is in the same condition as when it was taken. If any of the property is missing, or has been damaged or destroyed, you are entitled to make a supplemental application to the Court for an award of damages against the defendant.

If you do not understand this information, please contact an attorney.

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