“WHAT IS NUISANCE?”
A legal action to redress harm arising from the use of one’s property.
The two types of nuisance are private nuisance and public nuisance. A private nuisance is a civil wrong; it is the unreasonable, unwarranted, or unlawful use of one’s property in a manner that substantially interferes with the enjoyment or use of another individual’s property, without an actual Trespass or physical invasion to the land. A public nuisance is a criminal wrong; it is an act or omission that obstructs, damages, or inconveniences the rights of the community.
TYPES OF NUISANCE
The term public nuisance covers a wide variety of minor crimes that threaten the health, morals, safety, comfort, convenience, or welfare of a community. Violators may be punished by a criminal sentence, a fine, or both. A defendant may also be required to remove a nuisance or to pay the costs of removal. For example, a manufacturer who has polluted a stream might be fined and might also be ordered to pay the cost of cleanup. Public nuisances may interfere with public health, such as in the keeping of diseased animals or a malarial pond. Public safety nuisances include shooting fireworks in the streets, storing explosives, practicing medicine without a license, or harboring a vicious dog. Houses of prostitution, illegal liquor establishments, Gaming houses, and unlicensed prizefights are examples of nuisances that interfere with public morals. Obstructing a highway or creating a condition to make travel unsafe or
highly disagreeable are examples of nuisances threatening the public convenience.
For example, Pollution of a river might constitute both a public and a private nuisance. This is known as a mixed nuisance.
A private nuisance is an interference with a person’s enjoyment and use of his land. The law recognizes That landowners, or those in rightful possession of land, have the right to the unimpaired condition of the property and to reasonable comfort and convenience in its occupation.
Examples of private nuisances abound. Nuisances that interfere with the physical condition of the land include vibration or blasting that damages a house; destruction of crops; raising of a water table; or the pollution of soil, a stream, or an underground water supply. Examples of nuisances interfering with the comfort, convenience, or health of an occupant are foul odors, noxious gases, smoke, dust, loud noises, excessive light, or high temperatures. Moreover, a nuisance may also disturb an occupant’s mental tranquility, such as a neighbor who keeps a vicious dog, even though an injury is only threatened and has not actually occurred.
FACTORS TO BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION:-
• Extent and duration of the disturbance;
• Nature of the harm;
• Social value of the plaintiff’s use of his or her property or other interest;
• Burden to the plaintiff in preventing the harm;
• Value of the defendant’s conduct, in general and to the particular community;
• Motivation of the defendant;
• Feasibility of the defendant’s mitigating or preventing the harm;
• Locality and suitability of the uses of the land by both parties.
-In an attempt to escape liability, a defendant may argue that legislation (such as zoning laws or licenses) authorizes a particular activity. Legislative authority will not excuse a defendant from liability if the conduct is unreasonable.
-A defendant may not escape liability by arguing that others are also contributing to the harm; damages will be apportioned according to a defendant’s share of the blame. Moreover, a defendant is liable even where his or her actions without the actions of others would not have constituted a nuisance.
-Defendants sometimes argue that a plaintiff “came to a nuisance” by moving onto land next to an already operating source of interference. A new owner is entitled to the reasonable use and enjoyment of his or her land the same as anyone else, but the argument may be considered in determining the reasonableness of the defendant’s conduct. It may also have an impact in determining damages because the purchase price may have reflected the existence of the nuisance.