Practice point: Plaintiffs made a prima facie showing of entitlement to judgment as a matter of law on the cause of action alleging private nuisance by demonstrating that defendant has operated its golf course in a manner that has failed to sufficiently reduce the number of golf balls landing on the plaintiffs' property, producing a tangible and appreciable injury to the property that renders its enjoyment especially uncomfortable and inconvenient.
Similarly, the plaintiffs' submissions were sufficient to establish
their prima facie entitlement with
respect to the cause of action alleging trespass. Their submissions demonstrate that golf
balls have invaded their property with such frequency and over such a
long period of time, without defendant taking steps to sufficiently
abate the situation, so as to amount to willfulness.
They also established, prima facie, that defendant breached its duty to exercise reasonable care in the maintenance
and use of its property to prevent foreseeable injury that might occur
on adjoining property by failing to take precautions in design and
location, in the form of play, or in the erection of protective devices
as a safeguard against injury to the plaintiffs' property.
Student note: The elements of a private nuisance cause of action are an interference which is (1) substantial in nature, (2) intentional in origin, (3) unreasonable
in character, (4) with a person's property right to use and enjoy land,
(5) caused by another's conduct in acting or failure to act.
The essence of
trespass is the invasion of a person's interest in the exclusive
possession of land. The
invasion of, or intrusion upon, the property interest must at least be
the immediate or inevitable consequence of what the defendant
willfully does, or which he does so negligently.
Case: Behar v. Quaker Ridge Golf Club, Inc., NY Slip Op 04456 (2d Dept. 2014)
Here is the decision.
Tomorrow's issue: Dismissal of conversion and contract claims.