Thursday, January 28, 2021

Encroachment By Trees Determined to Be a Continuing Trespass for Statute of Limitations Purposes

In the case of Long v. Reccek, No. 3458 EDA 2019 (Pa. Super. Nov. 25, 2020 McLaughlin, J., Pannella, J., McCaffery, J.) (Op. by McLaughlin, J.), the Superior Court reversed the entry of summary judgment in a trespass/nuisance case involving a neighborly dispute regarding overhanging trees. 

The appellate court ruled that the alleged encroachment upon the Plaintiff’s property by trees growing on the Defendant’s property constituted a continuing trespass and nuisance such that the statute of limitations had not yet run on the Plaintiff’s claim.

The court noted that, under Pennsylvania law, whether a trespass or a nuisance is permanent or continuing involves an analysis of the character or what produced the injury, whether the consequences will continue indefinitely, and whether past and future damages may be reliably ascertained.

The court noted that the trespass/nuisance in the form of overhanging trees is a continuing wrong given that trees would obviously continue to grow such that any encroachments are bound to continue to occur.

As noted, the appellate court reversed the trial court’s entry of summary judgment.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

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