Trespass to Land Cases

  • Created by: CLC1802
  • Created on: 11-10-19 14:55

Sedleigh Denfield v O'Callagen

Trespasser had placed a cover on the defendant's drain. when there was a storm it clogged up and flooded the claimant's land. Even though a trespasser had placed it there it was deemed that the defendants's (the monks) were liable. As they knew it was there and allowed the contunuance to pursue without taking reasonable steps to stop it which makes them liable.

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Goldman v Hargreave

Tree was set on fire by lightening defendant cut it down but didn't take reasonable steps to completely stop the fire by using a water pipe as the fire spread to the neighbouring property. This proves that nature in this case fire can be a nuissance to land, and that the defendant must take reasonable steps to prevent the nuissance.

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Leakey v National Trust

Mud slide from national trust property damaged cottage down hill. Claimants made the National trust aware that the hill on their land was unstable but did nothing to prevent this. This case stated that the owner of land is liable for natural hazards that occur on their land. And in this case they were aware of the nuissance and did nothing to prevent it therefore they were liable.

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St Helen's Smelting v Tipping

Trees of large country estate was ruined by smelting factory nearby which released large amount of toxic gases. Claimant won case as even though smelting was ordinary business and couldn't use defence of prescription.

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Halsey v Esso

  • Halsey lives down the road from an Esso Petroleum oil factory.
  • Halsey claimed that the factory’s emissions produced an offensive smell, and that the acidic residue from the factory’s smoke damaged his linen and car’s paint.
  • Halsey was also kept up at night by the noise from the trucks constantly moving about in the area.
  • Was ESSO a nuissance??
  • Yes, an injunction is granted at night to prevent the noise from affecting the neighbourhood.
  • The locality and character of the neighbourhood is important.  Veale J determined that the factory could operate without causing nuisance, and noted that there was little noise pollution during the day.
  • The smell can be a nuisance – the smell was held to be “a nauseating smell, and …so frequent as to be an actionable nuisance.”
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Crown river cruises v Kimbolton Fireworks

London NYE firework display, one the fireworks landed on a boat and burned it. Issue was whether boat could be considered as land. Claim allowed as boat was permenantly moored there therefore it was an extension of the claimant's land and the boat was physically harmed which means there was unreasonable interference within itself.

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Khorasandjian and Hunter v Canary

This case chnaged the idea on who is allowed to be the defendent in a private nuissance case:

The idea of someone who has a substantial link to the home such as a child was allowed in Khorasandjian when the daughter wanted to sue for persistent phone calls from her ex-boyfriend to her mother’s house where to lived however in Hunter v Canary Wharf this idea was dismissed as Lord Goff restated that nuisance can only be brought by a person with an interest in the land

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Andreae v Selfridge (1938)

Claimant owed a hotel and as a result of renovation works next door was losing quite a lot of business so sued.

The court held that you shouldhave to put up with reasonable amounts of dust and noise but found that this was so unreasonable that the claimant won.

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Heath v Brighton Corp

Complainant complains syaing that hearing the humming from next door was interfering with the meditation that he was doing in his church.

Court held that the humming was reasonable noise and that the claimant doesn't have a claim since he was doing a sensitive activity, therefore cannot complain about reasonable noise interfering.

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Lawrence v Fen Tigers

claimants complained about the motor bike racing being noisy in the stadium next door. The court consideraed that the stadium was there first and that they had building permission but it ruled that the fact that something has building permission doesn't mean that it can make unreasonable noise (different to statutory provision). Also stated that it is possible to have an easement for noise. An inunction was given in first instance, to temporarily suspend activity.

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Christie v Davey

Music teacher held lessons next door, this created noise for the neighbour and in response he started to bang trays and pans against the wall.

The court in response held that when you make a noise on purpose with malice, it can be a tort even if the noise is reasonable it is a tort when done in malice.

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Struges v Bridgman

Doctor moved into house and built a shed in his garden to carry out his practice. This was on the boundry with neighbour. Neighbour had been a sweet confectioner for years and this produced a lot of noise. Doctor complained in private nuisance about the noise.

This case's defence of prescription failed. Court held that it was only at the time the doctor's surgery was built that the nuisance started, not before therefore prescription cannot be used since doctor complained almost immediately after surgery went up.

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Miller v Jackson

Defence of prescription:

found cricket club hitting balls into garden was a nuisance even though they had been there longer than the houses. The majority of judges prioritised the personal right of claimants to freely enjoy their land even when this may have negative effects on established enterprises or community interests.

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Allen v Gulf Oil

Had statutory authority through Gulf Oil Refinement Act 1965 to expand company. Residents claimed the new oil refinery caused unreasonable amount of noise. This case placed the burden on the defendant to show unreasonable amounts of noise thus creating a high threshold. But it was deemed that the nuisance caused by the operation was inevitable and the oil company had a full defence under statutory authority.

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Rapier v London Tramway

Claimant complained of the smell and noise coming form the stables used to hosue the horses to pull the trams.

Court deemed that the defence of statutory authority didn't apply since tram company only had statutory authority over tram ways not over the stables which were away from the tracks.

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Lemmon v Webb

Defendant could branches that were hanging over to his property from neighbour.

Court held this was legal since can use abatement remedy- could cut the branches without notice to his neighbour provided that he didn't trespass onto his neighbours land. Abatement also applies to encroaching roots.

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Dennis v MoD

Claimant lived next to RAF training base facililty, complained about the noise of planes taking off/ landing.

Injunction couldn't be given since the base is there for the public benefit and can't stop the army form operating. However, court recgonised that unfair to makes claimants bare brunt of noise for public benefit therefore awarded compensation.

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Cambridge Water v Eastern Counties Leather (1994)

In a tannery, there was spillages and over time the chemical seeped through the concrete. It went into the water supply and enough to be detectable by the water company systems. 

The damage was too remote and not foreseeable therefore defendent's weren't liable therefore no compensation since it wasn't reasonably foreseeable.

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Network Rail v Morris

Claimant had a recording studio near to train tracks. When train company put new signalling system in, the electro magnetic field of this interfered with the claimant's electric guitars. Due to this he lost several clients. He brought a claim for nuisance.

The use of electric guitar was a sensitive activity therefore the defendent (rail company) wasn't liable. Plus, the damage to electric guitars when putting in new signalling system was not foreseeable therefore compensation could not be given.

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