Is there such a thing as ‘sentimental value’?  Well yes, there is, according to a judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

The NSW police confiscated items of personal property.  Subsequently when the owner demanded the return of them, he was told that they had been destroyed.

Ultimately the State of NSW accepted liability to the owner and agreed on the value of certain items (a watch, a belt, etc) at $15,000, but there was no agreement about the value of a pendant which was said to be a cherished family heirloom.  The plaintiff could describe the pendant but produced no evidence of its value.

The judge accepted the maximum value of the pendant as estimated by a valuer engaged by the police ($10,000).  He then added $2,500 on the basis that it was reasonably foreseeable by the police that the pendant was a possession of sentimental value to its owner.

Jianwei Liu v State of NSW [2014] NSWSC 933

‘Extra’ damages such as damages for inconvenience and damages for loss of sentimental value may be awarded if there is convincing evidence to support them.  However the amounts awarded tend to be modest.