WHAT IS TRESPASS?
BY SWATEE SHUKLA
We often read or hear the phrase ‘trespassers will be executed’ in this article we will see what exactly trespass is and what are its kind?
Trespass can be understood as any transgression or offense against property or a person. Trespass is traditionally understood to occur as a right in rem (this is right available to him or her against the entire world) for possessors of immovable property. there are two types of trespass-
1) trespass to property
2) trespass to the person.
Trespass to property- trespass to the property can be either trespass to the land or trespass to movable property. Now, you must be thinking what is this movable property? So, according to the general clause act, 1897, movable property is any property not being immovable property whereas the immovable property, according to the same act shall include land, benefits to arise out of the land, and things attached to the earth, or permanently fastened to anything attached to the earth.
Trespass to land is the simplest form of trespass to understand. It occurs when an individual or an object of such individual enters into a land, in another’s possessions, without any lawful justification. Yes, without any lawful justification, if a police officer enters your house with a search warrant, here his act will not fall under the ambit of trespass because his entry is lawfully justified. One more interesting thing is that the trespass is not a tort against ownership it is a tort against possession that means an owner can be made liable for trespassing the same property because here the tenant possesses the property. Trespass is a tort that requires no intention to commit, it can be committed completely innocently and without any intention of doing so.
Trespass to movable property is an unlawful disturbance of the goods by seizure or removal or by a direct act causing damage to the good. For example, throwing water on someone’s laptop or dunking a mobile phone in a glass of water or if you take your friend’s note forcibly for photocopying, he/she/they can sue you for trespass to movable property.
Trespass to person - trespass to the person means a direct interference with the person’s body or liberty. Trespass to a person can take three forms, i.e. assault, battery, and false imprisonment. You must be thinking, do not these fall under the ambit of criminal law? Yes, all of them are crimes but in aggravated circumstances, each is also a tort. It depends upon the plaintiff, how he wishes to proceed with the injury.
The tort of assault is an attempt or a threat to do physical harm to another in the immediate future without any lawful justification. Here, actual harm is absent, if actual harm takes place it will fall under the ambit of battery.
The battery is the intentional and direct application of any physical force to the person of another. It refers to actually causing harm to, or touching him in a rude, angry, revengeful, or insolent manner.
False imprisonment refers to the total deprivation of liberty of a person, without lawful justification. False imprisonment requires that a person be unable to move from a place or a perimeter without any lawful justification of the same.