NUISANCE is an unreasonable, unwarranted, or illegal use by an individual of his or her own property, that in some way injures the rights of others. A nuisance action ordinarily arises between two neighboring landowners or is brought by a government attorney. The person initiating the nuisance action seeks to control or limit the use of the land that is creating the nuisance. Nuisance is based on the principle that no one has the right to use property in a manner such as to injure a neighbor.
A private nuisance arises when there is an interference with the use or QUIET ENJOYMENT of land without an actual TRESPASS or physical invasion. For example, A might sue B, alleging that constant loud noises by B amount to a nuisance to A and A's property, which may or may not adversely affect other property in the area.
A public nuisance extends further than a private nuisance, since it adversely affects the health, morals, safety, welfare, comfort, or convenience of the general public. Statutes in many states precisely define what constitutes a public nuisance. Common examples are water and AIR POLLUTION, the storage of explosives under dangerous conditions, houses of prostitution, the emission of bad odors or loud noises, and the obstruction of public ways.
A nuisance can be both private and public, since certain activities may be sufficient to constitute a public nuisance while still substantially interfering with the use of the adjoining land to such a degree that a landowner may sue on the ground that a private nuisance is present. Private nuisance refers to the property interest affected, as opposed to the type of conduct.
Nuisances may occur in rural as well as urban areas, but they become more obvious when the area is well established as residential in nature. The fact that an activity of a certain type is permitted in an area under the zoning ordinance does not mean that it may not be stopped if it develops into a nuisance. If an otherwise legitimate activity threatens the health or safety of the community in general, it can be classified as a public nuisance. Usually, however, very little relief is available for someone who intentionally locates in an industrial area.
- Land-Use Control - Dust, Noise, Smells, But Not A Nuisance
- Land-Use Control - Zoning
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