Where a person disrupts the right to exclusive possession of another to his/her land by unauthorized entry, there may be a trespass to land. To prevail in claim for trespass to land, the plaintiff must show:
- The plaintiff owned, leased, occupied, or controlled the property;
- The defendant intentionally or, although not intending to do so, recklessly or negligently entered the plaintiff’s property, or caused another person or thing to do so.
- The plaintiff did not give permission for the entry or the defendant exceeded the plaintiff’s permission;
- The plaintiff was harmed; &
- The defendant’s entry or conduct was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s harm.
A defendant can trespass without physical entry by, for example, causing an object to enter the plaintiff’s property. Additionally, intrusion may be intangible- noise, vibrations, etc.- provided it causes damage to land.
“As a general rule, landowners and tenants have a right to exclude persons from trespassing on private property; the right to exclude persons is a fundamental aspect of private property ownership.” (Allred v. Harris (1993) 14 Cal.App.4th 1386.)