Facts: During the course of several years living as neighbors to D’s, P’s were faced with
terrible, malicious treatment that included trespass, destruction of personal property,
walls and windows marred by paint, peace and quiet disturbed, cruel epithets, unsightly
walls that precluded what would be a great view of Hollywood, garbage purposely placed
by kitchen windows, and even dissuading a buyer from completing acquisition of P’s
home after a $1k deposit. P declared that the acts constituted nuisance and demanded
damages of 1k after they had moved away. Trial court awarded P 1k.
Issue: Is the sum of many intentional and malicious acts enough to constitute an act of
private nuisance from which damages can be assessed?
Holding: Affirmed.
Rationale:
– The adage a man’s home is his castle is true. A home is a place to seek refuge
from enemies and unwanted intrusions. When one maliciously aims and attempts
to destroy the peace and recreative value of a home, he robs its owners of
immeasurable riches and does an inestimable damage
– A court may consider the sentimental and aesthetic values of things destroyed,
such as property, peace, comfort and quiet. Because financial recompense is an
inadequate exchange for the loss of such things, there is no good reason to deny
pecuniary award for such damages sustained. An owner of an occupied residence
is entitled to just compensation for annoyance, discomfort, and inconvenience
caused by a nuisance on the adjoining property
– Nuisance is established here because there is proof that the acts committed were
of a nature to harass and annoy P’s continuously and to interfere with their lives
use of their home. A contention that D committed no unlawful acts and thus did
not cause a nuisance would create a world where urban life would be completely
unbearable. We enjoy urban life and its spenders, and thus cannot allow malice
against our fellow man.