Trespass to land

Every person has its rights and if those rights were infringed by any other person then the person whose rights were infringed has the right to sue the person. As like that every person has some privacy and have some rights related to his land. And if someone violates those rights it causes a lot of trouble. But there are some remedies which can be taken to avoid this situation. Today from this article I want to seek the attention of viewers towards some rights and some steps which can be taken when someone enters there land without their permission I.e., Trespass and what remedies they can take to clear it.


Trespass to land is a civil wrong committed by a person. A Trespass is an unlawful act committed against any person or against the property of any person. It means that if any person enters another person’s property without his permission then it leads to Trespass. And a person who enters another person’s land without his consent is known as a trespasser.

Case:- Madhav vithal kudwa v. Madhavdas vallabhdas[1]

In this case, the defendant was the plaintiff’s tenant. He lived on the first floor. He parked his car in the compound of plaintiff’s building for which the plaintiff sued him and want an injunction against parking defendant‘s car in his compound but he court held that the defendant has right to park his car in the plaintiff’s compound without permission as he lives in that compound and if he parks it on another place it can cause disturbance to others.

There are two types of trespass that are:-

  • Trespass square olasum freguit which means that trespass to land.
  • Trespass de bonis asportatis which means that trespass to goods.

So, the Trespass to land means interference with the possession of land without lawful justification. Here, the person interferes with the property of another person with some tangible object. But if the interference done by any person is not direct but it is consequential then it is not considered as Trespass, it is called Nuisance.

For example:- if any person plants trees on his own land but its leaves hang over a Mother’s land then it is known as a nuisance but if a person plants a tree on a Mother’s land without permission then it is considered as trespass to land.

Difference Between Trespass and Nuisance

If the consequences of interference are directly then it is trespass while consequential interference is a nuisance. Trespass is actionable per se while nuisance is actionable on proof of damage. Trespass requires a direct entry in the land while nuisance can be created without entering the land. In trespass, the person who has possession can sue the trespasser while nuisance affected person can sue.

As we have said that Trespass is I wrong against possession rather than ownership. Therefore it is said that the person with actual possession of land can be sued for trespass. If the true owner of the land has no possession on the land then he cannot bring any action.

Case:- Graham v. Peat[2]

The plaintiff was holding the land under a lease which was void but he was nevertheless entitled to bring an action for trespass against the defendant.

If any person takes minerals from the soil of another person’s land then it is also considered as trespass. Trespass is actionable per se which means that we know to proof any damage by the trespass.

How is Trespass Committed?

It can be committed in two ways that are:-

  • By entering the land of another person:-  Trespass can be done by entering the land of another person without his permission.Or by allowing any animal intentionally on another land without permission is Trespass.

Case:- Ellis v. Loftus iron co.[3]

In this case, it was held that permitting cattle to wander on another’s land without permission is trespass.

  • Without any entry licence:- If the right to be in any land was ceased or if the licence of being on any land is revoked then the person is held liable for trespass.

Case:- Wood v. Leadbitter[4]

Here, the plaintiff has purchased tickets for watching a horse race and the defendant was the owner. When the race is going on defendant asked the plaintiff to leave the racecourse. When the plaintiff did not listen to it then he was forcibly ejected from that place because of the revocation of the licence. It was held by the court that after the revocation of the plaintiff’s licence hen he becomes a trespasser and the ejection of trespasser is not wrong.

Trespass An Initio

If any person enters another person’s property under authority but after entering start abusing the owner then he will be considered as a trespasser from the beginning. And it is assumed that he has that wrongful intention in his mind before entering the land. And the victim has the  right to claim damages not only for the wrongful act done by the trespasser but also for the original entry which is now considered as trespass.

But to complete this situation two situations should be there that are:-

Non- feasance which means omission to do something

Misfeasance which means doing of a wrongful act

For trespass an initio, non-feasance is not enough the defendant should do misfeasance.

Case:- six carpenters’ case[5]

Six carpenters entered the inn and they ordered wine and bread after eating if they did not pay for it. They had done no act of malfeasance and only done non- feasance, so it is not held to be trespass an initial.


There are four remedies that are:-

  • Re-entry:- if any person trespasses another person’s land then whose land has trespassed has the right to use reasonable force to get trespass vacated.

Case:- Hemmings v. Stoke poges golf club[6]

Here, the plaintiff is an employee of the defendant. On the termination of the job, he was clearly asked to leave the house given by the company. But he refused then the defendant themselves entered in the premises of the plaintiff and by using reasonable force removed the plaintiff with his furniture. So the defendant was not liable for the same.

  • Action for ejectment:- if the person who has possession of land for a reasonable time and then someone trespassed that land then the person whose land is trespassed has the right to take action for ejectment but they have to bringan action under six months.

Case:- virjivandas v. Mahomed[7]

If any person has possession of man’s but in the absence of two days someone trespassed it then that person has the right to bring an action for ejectment.

  • Action for Mesne profit:- if any person trespasses another person’s land than apart from taking action he can take compensation for that wrongful act. The action to recover such compensation is known as action for means profit.
  • Distress damage feasant:-This action gives a person in possession of land a right to seize the trespassing cattle and he can seize them until he got compensation.

Case:- Tillett v. Ward[8]

The occupier of land was entitled to keep the pony which has come after trespassing unit he for compensation from the owner of that pony.


From this paper, I want to convey the readers about the rights which they have after attaining land and if any person violates it what remedies should be taken. We have learned that nuisance and trespass are two different things. Trespass to land is a civil wrong for which any person can sue the person who trespasses it. He has many other rights. But to perform those rights it is necessary that the person should have actual possession of that land from a reasonable time otherwise he has no rights in that land. So it is necessary to be aware of the rights of the land to protect it from different violations.


Q1. What is the meaning of trespass?

An unlawful act committed on the person, property, goods and for which we can take legal action.

Q2. How do we keep someone off Our property?

We can restrict the entry of someone by putting a notice on the property or by putting a fence around the property

Q3. Is walking through someone’s yard is trespassing?

It can be said trespass but in a practical way not every time police will be there to sue you for walking any other’s property so it is trespass but generally not something you can prosecute.

Q4. How can tell anyone to tell get off our property?

We can use reasonable force to remove the trespasser from the land or by the action for ejectment.

Q5. What remedies are there for trespass to land?



[1] AIR 1979 Bom. 49.

[2] (1801) 1 East 244.

[3](1874) LR 10 CP 10.

[4](1845) 12 M & W 838.

[5](1610) 8 Co. rep. 146 a.

[6](1920) 1 KB 720.

[7](1881) 5 Bom. 208.

[8](1882) 10 QBD 17.




[12] Book name:- Law of torts by :- RK bangia

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