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Alabama Tort Law
Copyright 2016, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group.

1-30 Alabama Tort Law 30.syn




Gregory S. Cusimano;; Michael L. Roberts

Chapter Summary


This chapter from Alabama Tort Law covers the tort of trespass, which is the unlawful or wrongful interference with another's possession of property. It explains that one is subject to liability to another for trespass, irrespective of whether he thereby causes harm to any legally protected interest of the other, if he intentionally enters land in the possession of the other, or causes a thing or a third person to do so; remains on the land; or fails to remove from the land a thing which he is under a duty to remove. It then addresses the problem of two or more persons asserting possession of the same property.

Next, the chapter discusses the property subject to trespass actions, including both real and personal property. It further distinguishes trespass to chattels from conversion. The chapter then examines the nature of the plaintiff's rights in the property, noting that possession is sufficient and legal title is not required. With regard to intent, the chapter explains that, to be liable, the defendant must have an intent to do the act leading to the trespass or have a wanton level of his state of mind; he need not intend to trespass per se. The chapter next covers the requirement that, to constitute a trespass, the act resulting in the injury must result from either a direct or constructive unlawful force.

In addition, the chapter discusses invasory trespasses, which are not inflicted directly on another's realty, but are committed by discharged foreign matter at a point beyond the boundary of such realty. It then reviews continuing trespasses, which occur when an invasion continues due to the failure of the one responsible to remove it.

With regard to defenses, the chapter explains that consent negates the wrongful element of the defendant's conduct and precludes liability for the tort. It also reviews the applicable statute of limitations within which trespass cases must be filed. Finally, the chapter describes the process for calculating damages to the property, as well as the statutory right to damages for the destruction, injury, or removal of trees.

Alabama Tort Law (Matthew Bender) is the only truly comprehensive resource on tort law in Alabama. With expert discussion of proof requisites and defenses, it covers all the elements of each tort actionable under Alabama law. It provides the information necessary to determine if there is a case and what is needed to prove or defend it. Alabama Tort Law not only provides up-to-date coverage of relevant case law and analysis, it also includes comprehensive appendices with practical material, including checklists and sample complaints for frequently encountered topics.


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For more information on wantonness and willfulness, see Chapter 3, Wantonness and Willfulness.

For a discussion of conversion of personal property, see Chapter 29, Conversion.

For more information on damages, see Chapter 40, Compensatory Damages; Chapter 41, Compensatory Damages for Injured Property Interests; and Chapter 42, Punitive Damages.

For information on the sufficiency of evidence and burdens of proof, see Chapter 44, Evidentiary Issues in Torts.


See Personal Injury: Actions, Defenses, Damages (Matthew Bender) for the largest and most comprehensive case law compendium in legal literature, with encyclopedic treatment of the personal injury law of every American jurisdiction and coverage of theories of recovery, elements of causes of action, necessary allegations, defenses, and damages.

See Personal Injury Defense Techniques (Matthew Bender) for a discussion of a wide range of the substantive and practical legal problems faced by defense counsel, along with suggestions for the best ways to remedy them, with coverage of such topics as insurance defense, liquor liability, medical malpractice, premises liability, products liability, toxic torts, and damages.

See Alabama Property Rights and Remedies (Matthew Bender) for the statutes, case law, and practical guidance on statutory rights and remedies for establishing and protecting property ownership and use, along with the rights and remedies relating to creditors and the government.

See Powell on Real Property (Matthew Bender) for expert analysis on all aspects of real property law that is national in scope.

See A Practical Guide to Disputes between Adjoining Landowners--Easements (Matthew Bender) for expert substantive and procedural guidance for the entire range of disputes between landowners, covering easements, covenants running with the land, equitable servitudes, licenses, adverse possession, trespass, party walls, boundary disputes, nuisance, lateral and subjacent support, water and airspace rights, and landlord and tenant.
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