LAW 511-002 – Torts I

Trespass


There are two types of trespass in common law:

Trespass to Land

Trespass to land is the:

  1. unauthorized
  2. entry onto
    • Volitional act
  3. the land of another
    • Mistake is not a defense.

Trespass is a tort against the possessor of the land.

Related causes of action:

  • Ejectment

    Ejectment is a cause of action similar to trespass filed by the owner of land against someone who is wrongly possessing the land.

  • Quiet Title

    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

    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:

  1. intentional
  2. interference with or dispossession of
  3. the chattel of another
  4. 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.