APPRAISAL OF TRESPASS AS A TORTIOUS ACTION UNDER THE LAW OF TORT

ABSTRACT
There is no branch of law which reflects the true picture of the society more than the law of tort. The reason being that it is a branch of law that deals with the conduct of the people amongst themselves. Because of the interaction people have with themselves in the environment, there are bound to be friction which will bring about injuries or wrongdoings , whether direct or in indirect and for this reason, the law of tort is put in place to pay compensation to persons affected by the wrongful conduct of others.
One of the major facets of tort is Trespass. The term trespass has been used in different senses by Lawyers and laymen but the most satisfactory and most conventional of all is that Trespass is the unlawful interference with one`s person, land, and chattel. The law of trespass seeks to protect or compensate it`s victim and its bases is the prevention of breachesof harmony. Trespass can be classified into three types namely; Trespass to Person, Trespass to Land, and Trespass to Chattel.

Trespass to person is any direct and immediate interference with personal libertywhich is actionable parse and it comprises battery, assault, and false imprisonment. Trespass to land is the entrance upon another person’s land without authorization whether forcible or not. Trespass to land can be by wrongful entry, remaining on land, placing things on land, and trespass above and beneath the surface of land. Trespass to chattel is a direct and wrongful interference in the possession of another. Conversion and detinue come under trespass to chattel and there is no doubt that there are differences between the two even though they seem similar. This study work seeks to examine the principles of law applicable to Trespass to person, Trespass to land, and Trespass to chattel which form the major classifications of Trespass, with a view to enlightening the general public. Moreover, there are caseswhere a person may seek to justify his actions. Such justifications in law are known as defences. These defences shall be examined in the course of this research work.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CASES
TABLE OF STATUTES
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

CHAPTER ONE
GENERAL INTRODUCTION
1.0.0: INTRODUCTION
1.1.0: BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
1.2.0: OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
1.3.0: FOCUS OF STUDY
1.4.0: SCOPE OF STUDY
1.5.0: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
1.6.0: LITERATURE REVIEW
1.7.0: CONCLUSION

CHAPTER TWO
TRESPASS TO PERSON
2.0.0: INTRODUCTION
2.1.0: ASSAULT
2.2.0: BATTERY
2.3.0: FALSE IMPRISONMENT
2.4.0: DEFENCE OF JUSTIFICATION
2.4.1: DEFENCE OF CONSENT
2.4.2: DEFENCE OF JUDICIAL AUTHORITY
2.4.3: DEFENCE OF LAWFUL ARREST
2.4.4: DEFENCE OF STATUTORY
2.4.5: DEFENCE OF PARENTAL OR OTHER AUTHORITIES
2.4.6: DEFENCE OF NECESSITY
2.5.0: CONCLUSION

CHAPTER THREE
TRESPASS TO LAND
3.0.0: INTRODUCTION
3.1.0: TRESPASS BY WRONGFUL ENTRY
3.2.0: TRESPASS BY REMAINING ON LAND
3.3.0: TRESPASS BY PLACING THINGS ON LAND
3.4.0: TRESPASS ABOVE AND BELOW THE SURFACE OF LAND
3.5.0: INTERFERENCE WITH POSSESION
3.6.0: DOES SELF-HELP CONSTITUTE A VALID DEFENCE
3.6.1: DEFENCE OF LICENSE
3.6.2: DEFENCE OF JUSTIFICATION
3.7.0: CONCLUSION

CHAPTER FOUR
TRESPASS TO CHATTEL
4.0.0: INTRODUCTION
4.1.0: CONVERSION
4.1.1: CONVERSION BY TAKING POSSESSION
4.1.2: CONVERSION BY USING
4.1.3: CONVERSION BY WRONGFUL TRANSFER OF TITLE
4.1.4: CONVERSION BY DETENTION
4.2.0: DETINUE
4.3.0: DEFENCE OF PERSON AND PROPERTY
4.3.1: DEFENCE OF JUS TERTII
4. 4.0: CONCLUSION

CHAPTER FIVE
GENERAL CONCLUSION
5.0.0: CONCLUSION
5.1.0: RECOMMENDATION

BIBLOGRAPHY

CHAPTER ONE
GENERAL INTRODUCTION
1.0.0: INTRODUCTION
Tort is a civil wrong involving a breach of duty fixed by law and its breaches being redressible by an action for unliquidated damages[1]. The primary function of the law of tort is to provide protection for an individual’s personal or proprietary interest,  and against unlawful interference with such interest by another. Tort is a board church and many hymns, ancient and modern can be heard within it[2]. It is one of the most ancient branches of law, which is still evolving by responding to changing social and economic conditions. Jurisprudentially it is intriguing because it demonstrates the shifting boundaries of judicial creativity.
Trespass being a major aspect of tort has a long historical antecedent which is traceable to the common law of England as early as the 13th century and it is applicable in Nigeria by virtue of the Interpretation Act[3]. Trespass has being defined as “the unlawful intrusion that interferes with one’s person or property”. Trespass can be classified into three major types, namely Trespass to person, Trespass to land and Trespass to chattel.  Trespass to persons consists three torts namely; assault, battery, and false imprisonment
1.1.0: BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
It is often seen, that one wants to protect one’s body and property, whether movable or immovable. People usually seem anxious as to their person or property being vulnerable to negative elements, which are willing to misappropriate and exploit their wealth with a mala fide intention. This apprehension of large fragments is what is required to be dealt with the iron hands of the law.
The law takes care of the acts which are to be recuperated with compensation or punishment. These acts can lie from a mere intentional touch to one’s person with an evil intention of intrusion into property without assigning any reason for the action.
The law is often applied and has evolved to strike a delicate balance between the private rights to the exclusion of others and socially valuable public and private interests that are sometimes served by permitting unauthorized instances of access. Therefore, it becomes extremely necessary to identify the precise problem and its solution. Public interest often trumps the private interest and is widely recognized by law to be the distinctive exception to the owner’s “right to exclude”. Trespass is a varied topic involving both civil and criminal elements. What distinguishes criminal trespass from civil trespass is that in the former, the entry should be with intent to commit an offence or to intimidate, insult or annoy the person in possession of the property.
Trespass is a tort action under the common law which has eventually become operative in Nigeria by virtue of Section 45 of the Interpretation Act[4]. Today, the law of trespass has advanced to become an aspect of tort with several branches of its own.
1.2.0: OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The aim and objective of this work is to undergo an appraisal of trespass as a tortious action under the law of tort, thereby examining in details the three major branches of trespass with a view to enlighten the general public in a clear and unambiguous words, what trespass entails. Furthermore, the researcher is concerned with such questions as;
A.    Is battery necessarily a hostile act?
B.     Are all trespasses actionable?
C.     Does self-help constitutes a valid defence in an action for trespass to land?
It is therefore hoped that answers to these questions and many more would be found at the end of this research.
1.3.0: FOCUS OF STUDY
The research work covers and tries to consider trespass in its totality as embodied in the law of tort. Furthermore, it concentrates and tries to enlighten the public most especially about Trespass to person as this is the most deliberated form of Trespass. It also encompasses a detailed explanation of the division of trespass in relation to the relative mind of the court vis a vis the decisions of the court.
1.4.0: SCOPE OF STUDY
The extent of this research work is limited to Trespass to Person, Trespass to Land and Trespass to chattel and the defences that are available to each of them.
1.5.0:  RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
For the purpose of this research, the source of information that will be utilized is secondary source and it includes judicial authorities on the chosen topic, statutory authorities, and textbooksby eminent and renowned authors. Articles from the internet as well as comprehensive lecture note from the Faculty of law, Adeleke University, Ede, and Osun State, Nigeria. The work will be subjected to critical analysis.



[1]Kodilinye G &Aluko, G, The Nigerian Law of Tort , (spectrum, Ibadan 1999) 1
[2]Harpwood V -Principles of Tort Law; 4th Edn. Cavendish Publishing Ltd. London at P.V
[3] Section 45 Cap 89 of 1958  Laws of The Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004.
[4] 1958, Cap. 89 LFN 2004.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 87 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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