What is a “Private Nuisance” Tort?
Private Nuisance is an excellent tort (cause of action) to allege that is perfect for many Illegally Targeted People (ITP) because it is what many perpetrators do as part of group or organized stalking, bothering ITPs at their home. And it is known to the court so if the facts fit into the elements of this tort, you will survive the early dismissal defenses by the defendant.
Don’t confuse criminal code with civil code such as “disturbing the peace” (criminal law) and “private nuisance” (civil code). In criminal code, that is criminal law and you have to call the police or sheriff to report the crime and they investigate and maybe arrest the perpetrator. But you do not allege “disturbing the peace” in civil lawsuits.
In civil code, if your neighbor is bothering you with noise or otherwise interfering with the enjoyment of where you live, that is called “private nuisance.” Most people have not heard of private nuisance but it the proper tort to allege if your neighbor is bothering you.
Elements of Private Nuisance
Elements of Private Nuisance - you must meet all 3 criteria:
Why Sue for the tort of “Private Nuisance?”
Illegally Targeted People obviously have justified complaints about the targeting to them, also known as crimes and torts (civil wrongs). When a person begins to be targeted, many different abuses generally start at the same time, but because there are different defendants that are not necessarily directly related, it is best to separate them out.
In other words, the tort “Private Nuisance” is for the next door neighbors or even people that disturb you at your home or property, which would not be part of a class action with other targeted people because the defendants and damages are only being directed to you.
Can you sue for Private Nuisance?
Yes, you most certainly can. This is one of the best “causes of action” for an Illegally Targeted Person to sue for when neighbors or anyone is targeting them with noise or other factors at their home. Just make sure you meet the elements and collecting court admissible video or audio evidence would help as well.
Here are the actual jury instructions that a jury will consider to determine if the person (defendant) is interfering with your peace and enjoyment at your home:
[Name of plaintiff] claims that [name of defendant] interfered with [name of plaintiff]’s use and enjoyment of [his/her] land. To establish this claim, [name of plaintiff] must prove all of the following:
1. That [name of plaintiff] [owned/leased/occupied/controlled] the property;
2. That [name of defendant], by acting or failing to act, created a condition or permitted a condition to exist that [insert one or more of the following:]
4. That [name of plaintiff] did not consent to [name of defendant]’s conduct;
5. That an ordinary person would be reasonably annoyed or disturbed by [name of defendant]’s conduct;
6. That [name of plaintiff] was harmed;
7. That [name of defendant]’s conduct was a substantial factor in causing [name of plaintiff]’s harm; and
8. That the seriousness of the harm outweighs the public beneﬁt of [name of defendant]’s conduct.
In everyday common terms and in legal terms, a nuisance is something that causes an annoyance. If a nuisance is a problem to the general public, it is called a public nuisance. If a nuisance interferes with the right of specific person or entity, it is considered a private nuisance.
The tort of private nuisance protects a person's right to use and enjoy his or her property. A few examples of private nuisances are: loud noises, vibration, pollution of a stream or soil, smoke, foul odors, and excessive light. Private nuisance lawsuits typically arise between neighbors, with one property owner being negatively affected by the acts of his or her neighbor, but it could also be people that approach your home or property.
Property owners and people that have a right to possess the property such as a renter of the property have a right to the enjoyment and use of their land. In the event that another party interferes with that right -- for instance, a neighbor regularly makes loud noises at night -- a property owner can sue the interfering party. If the intrusion is physical, a property owner may be able to sue under the legal theory of trespass. In the event that trespass laws do not apply, but there is still interference, a property owner may be able to sue under the theory of private nuisance. States may vary on their definition of a private nuisance, but the elements are generally as noted above.
It's important to understand the elements. The first element is obvious as only a person who has an interest in the affected property can file a claim. As for the second element, it's important to understand that the defendant's acts can be intentional, negligent, or reckless. The third element is meant to prevent people from suing for petty annoyances. In determining if a particular interference is substantial, the court will apply a standard of an ordinary person. This means that if a property owner has a particular sensitivity to odors, for example, that will not be the standard to determine if the odor he or she is complaining about is a substantial interference. As for whether the defendant's conduct was unreasonable, the court will apply a balancing test that weighs the harm caused by the conduct against the burden of preventing the harm and the usefulness of the act.