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Nuisance & Trespass Claims

Protecting not only land, but also unhindered use of land is critical for anyone or any business. For individuals, land use free from trespass and nuisance is a key aspect of our protected rights as U.S. citizens. For businesses, protecting against trespass and nuisance can be effectively the protection of your ability to run your business successfully, especially in instances of trespass and nuisance that result in bad press or pollution that can harm your property.

The Attorneys of CLG Know How to Protect Your Property Rights

At Chenoweth Law Group, we are a premier business and litigation firm in Portland, serving business and individual clients throughout Oregon, Washington, and California. Our attorneys bring a wealth of experience in real estate dispute and litigation matters. We know the laws of nuisance and trespass, and we will fight to protect your rights


Between trespass and nuisance, trespass is definitely the lesser of the two harms. Trespass is invading someone else’s property without permission or authorization. In Oregon, civil trespass is covered under ORS 105.700. The simple explanation is that, if the landowner properly posts that the land is closed to entry and someone enters and remains on the land without permission, the landowner can be awarded up to $1,000. It doesn’t matter whether the person trespassing saw the no entry sign or if the trespasser had any intent to cause damage to the landowner.

In Washington, the civil tort of trespass is handled under common law. Generally, trespass occurs when someone intentionally enters land or causes something to enter the land, remains on the land or fails to remove something from the land that he or she is under the duty to remove. Intent, under this common law, is not limited to purposely entering the land or causing something to be on the land. If the trespasser has substantial certainty that his or her actions will have the result of something ending up on the land, it satisfies the requirement of intent. (See Bradley v. American Smelting). Further, there is no requirement of actual damages for trespass to be established.


Nuisance is a more serious tort, as it involves actual damages. Generally, when a landowner experiences unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of land, a nuisance has occurred. The plaintiff in a nuisance case must show actual damages.

Nuisance is an important concept, especially for businesses, as it can include:

  • Pollution to land
  • Pollution to water supplies
  • Damage to trees or shrubbery on the land (see ” Timber Trespass” laws)
  • Noise violations that hinder customer enjoyment
  • Unreasonable blocking of legal right-of-way or access to business properties

The lawyers of CLG can protect your land rights from trespass and nuisance. Talk with an attorney from our firm to discuss your rights and options. Call 503.446.6261 or contact us online to schedule your consultation today.

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