One of the most common legal proceedings that one is likely to encounter in normal daily dealings is that of trespass. This proceeding is majorly based on tort law and it deals with wrongs that are done intentionally which amount to invasion of the claimant's interest. Trespass can either be to person or to land but in practice, trespass to land is the most common basis of civil suits. Trespass to land involves unlawfully and without permission, entering another persons land, whether shortly or for a longer period.
The old forms of the rort such as trespass to person and trespass on property are actionable without proof of harm while the new forms of trespass such as nuisance and negligence require the claimant to plead specific harm suffered in order to claim damages. The forms of trespass that can be brought through criminal proceedings are mainly trespass to person. The main examples of this category of trespass are assault and battery.
Owing to the nature of trespass, it is clear that it is very easy for one to face a lawsuit emanating from the daily events in life even when the action is not intentional. It is thus important to be prepared on how to deal with such proceedings.
Here are some defenses to trespass that are available.
The defense of license can be claimed by one who seeks to establish that he entered and remained in another person's land because he has been allowed by the owner to do so. There is also an implied license to enter a public office to make an inquiry.Implied licence would mean that by virtue of being a public office, it is implied that any member of the public can make an entry in that particular office as long as they stick to the purpose that the office is intended.
Necessity is yet another defense to and can be used in times of casualties such as a fire outbreak or when one enters another person's property to prevent harm from befalling it. If one believes that it was necessary for them to enter the premise as a matter of emergency, then they can claim that as a defense.
Justification by law is a defense to trespass available to mostly law enforcers who can enter a person's property for the sake of arresting or effecting a search. They are allowed by law to make such an entry within certain safeguards in law and thus cannot be termed as tresspassers in doing so.
As this article points out, trespass is something one is likely to commit even unknowingly as they go about their daily chores. It is thus important that they arm themselves with the defences available should they face a lawsuit.