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Trespass To Land Notes

Law Notes > Intentional Torts Notes

This is an extract of our Trespass To Land document, which we sell as part of our Intentional Torts Notes collection written by the top tier of Griffith University students.

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TRESPASS


TO

LAND

INTENTIONAL

TORTS

|

43

TRESPASS

TO

LAND

Involves

the

direct

and

intentional

or

negligent

interference

with

land

in

the


exclusive

possession

of

another

without

consent

or

other

lawful

authorisation

-


Plenty

v

Dillon


Elements:

1. Was

the

action

of

the

defendant

direct

and

intentional

or

negligent?

2. Does

the

defendant

enter

into

or

remain

on

the

land?

Did

the


defendant

cause

an

object

or

another

person

to

intrude

onto

land?

3. Was

the

land

in

possession

of

another?

4. Did

the

plaintiff

consent

to

the

interference

with

the

land?

5. Defences

6. Remedies


Hill

v

Higgins

* Applicants

alleged

respondent

neighbours

committed

acts

of

trespass


in

circumstances

where

deteriorating

retaining

wall

leaned

and


encroached

on

applicant's

land

* Claimed

bricks

from

retaining

wall

fell

on

applicants

land

* Claimed

wall

leaned

onto

applicants

land

constituting

encroachment


Johnson

v

Buchanan

* Under

legislation

it

was

an

offence

by

a

dog

owner

for

a

dog

to

bite


another

person

* HELD:

There

was

a

defence:

trespass

to

land

* The

D's

neighbour

had

his

arm

over

the

fence,

and

the

D's

dog

bit

the


neighbour's

arm

Plenty

v

Dillon

* 2

police

went

to

Mr

Plenty's

farm

in

order

to

serve

a

summons/notice.


However,

under

the

law

the

summons

had

to

be

served

by

the

post.

* HELD:

the

police

officers

were

trespassing

because

they

entered

the


farm

without

any

consent

(either

express

or

implied)

or

lawful


justification


o Definition

of

trespass;

the

importance

of

consent

or

lawful


justification

44 |

INTENTIONAL

TORTS

WAS

THE

ACTION

OF

THE

DEFENDANT

DIRECT

AND


INTENTIONAL

OR

NEGLIGENT?

*

*

*

The

contact

(interference)

with

the

Pl's

property

must

be

a

direct

(not


consequential)

result

of

the

D's

actions/conduct


It

is

the

act

that

must

be

intended,

not

the

actual

interference


This

might

occur

in

a

number

of

ways:


o No

authority

at

all


o The

erection

of

a

building


o Entry

for

a

purpose,

other

than

that

specified/permitted


o Remaining

after

permission/licence

has

been

revoked


o Propulsion

of

an

object,

substance

or

3rd

person

Southport

Corporation

v

Esso

Petroleum

Co

Ltd

* Oil

tanker

released

400

tonnes

of

oil,

in

an

estuary,

to

re--float

the


vessel.

The

oil

ended

up

on

the

P's

shore.

* HELD:

Denning

LJ

said

this

was

not

a

direct

act

sufficient

to

constitute

a


trespass

to

land.

He

said

the

discharge

was

not

done

directly

on

to

the


P's

foreshore

but

outside

in

an

estuary

and

the

tide

took

it

to

the

P's


land.

The

fact

that

the

tide

took

the

oil

to

the

P's

land

was

only


consequential,

and

not

direct.

*

*

*

For

an

action

in

trespass

the

actions

of

the

D

must

be

voluntary

as

well

as


intentional

or

negligent


o Public

Transport

Commissioner

of

NSW

v

Perry


SS? no

action

in

trespass

where

an

epileptic

fit

caused

a

person


to

fall

(unconsciously)

onto

the

P's

land.


o Smith

v

Stone


SS? no

trespass

if

carried

onto

the

P's

land

by

the

force

and


violence

of

other

people.


The

D

will

only

be

liable

in

trespass

to

land

if

the

trespass

was

intentional


(or

reckless)

or

negligent

(or

careless).


o an

intention

to

commit

the

act

that

constitutes

the

trespass,

not

an


intention

to

cause

the

harm.


o to

be

reckless

means

to

be

indifferent

to

the

consequences

of

your


act.


League

Against

Cruel

Sports

v

Scott


o Only

liable

for

the

trespass

of

the

hounds

entering

the

P's

land

if


the

master

had

intended

the

hounds

to

enter

or

failed

to

prevent


them

from

entering

through

negligence.

INTENTIONAL

TORTS

|

45

Nickells

v

Melbourne

Corporation

* The

defendant's

servant

drove

a

wide

horse--drawn

cart

up

a

narrow


lane

which

was

flanked

by

glass

shop

windows.

* The

size

of

the

cart

was

such

that,

in

order

to

turn

at

the

end

of

the


lane,

the

cart

had

to

be

brought

to

within

15

inches

of

one

of

the


windows.

* While

turning,

the

horse

became

startled

and

backed

the

cart

through


the

window.

* HELD:

There

was

sufficient

evidence

to

support

a

finding

that

the


driving

of

the

horse

and

cart

in

the

lane

in

such

circumstances


constituted

negligence

on

the

part

of

the

driver.


o The

D

may

be

liable

in

trespass

to

land

if

the

trespass

was


intentional

(or

reckless)

or

negligent

(or

careless).

An


involuntary

trespass

may

be

actionable

if

the

def

is

negligent

or


reckless

46 |

INTENTIONAL

TORTS

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