Trespass and Punitive Damages: Landowners And Their Often Overlooked Rights
In a most recent Georgia Court of Appeals ruling involving land, the Court ruled that trespass is an intentional act that will authorize the award of attorneys’ fees and punitive damages against the wrongdoer. Although this ruling relied on established case law, it is a current reminder that cases involving the intentional encroachment or going upon the land of another without authorization can result in damages awards that include attorneys fees and punitive damages. Trespass claims, in certain instances, can also arise in personal injury cases involving assault and battery. However, in this era of increased development and construction where property boundaries are not clearly delineated, or are overlooked or even ignored, landowners need to be mindful that the trespass claim is an often overlooked claim that provides considerable rights of recovery. Trespass can be in various forms, such as dumping debris on other persons properties, changing waterflow on to another persons property, building over the property line, or travelling on another persons property without permission. All these types of behavior are not uncommon in areas where development and construction are occurring. If you have reason to believe that your rights as a property owner are being violated by another, please contact Rumsey & Ramsey at (770) 394-9400 to discuss the facts of your case with a lawyer.