There are two types of trespass in common law:
Trespass to Land
Trespass to land is the:
- entry onto
- the land of another
- Mistake is not a defense.
Trespass is a tort against the possessor of the land.
Related causes of action:
Ejectment is a cause of action similar to trespass filed by the owner of land against someone who is wrongly possessing the land.
An action to quiet title is a cause of action similar to trespass filed by the owner of land against someone who falsely claims to possess the owner's land.
Nuisance is a cause of action similar to trespass filed by the possessor of land against someone who creates a condition that interferes with the possessor's use or enjoyment of the property.
Air travel is only a trespass when an aircraft "enters into the immediate reaches of the air space next to the land and . . . interferes substantially with the other's use and enjoyment of the land."
Trespass to Chattel
Trespass to chattel is the:
- interference with or dispossession of
- the chattel of another
- resulting in damage thereto.
- Dispossession itself can be a damage if it is for a sufficient length of time.
A victim of a trespass to chattel must accept the return of the chattel.
"Trespass" alone usually refers to trespass to land in common language.