Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
The law of private nuisance is a law of degree; it generally turns on the factual question whether the use to which the property is put is a reasonable use under the circumstances, and whether there is an appreciable, substantial, tangible injury resulting in actual, material, physical discomfort, and not merely a tendency to injure. It must be real and not fanciful or imaginary, or such as results merely in a trifling annoyance, inconvenience, or discomfort.
Plaintiffs were the operators of a guest house on Ridgewood Avenue in Daytona Beach. They brought the present action against the four defendants alleging that they were maintaining a private nuisance on their property in that they were conducting a day nursery thereon five days a week for children from two to six years of age from about 8:00 a.m. to about 5:00 p.m. The trial court, in a sweeping decree, enjoined the defendants from operating their nursery entirely, and then further enjoined them from doing certain specific acts in relation thereto, and awarded damages and costs against defendants. Defendants appealed.
Did the defendants’ operation of day care center constitute a nuisance, thereby entitling the grant of injunction and award of damages in favor of plaintiffs?
The court reversed the decree of the trial court that granted plaintiffs, operators of a guesthouse, an injunction against the operation of defendant neighbors' day care center. Under the reasonable person standard, the operation of a day care center during the day did not constitute a nuisance even if plaintiffs particularly disliked children. In any case, the neighborhood included gas stations, a hotel, other commercial real estate, and only one home. Although the standard for determining whether a nuisance existed had changed over time, defendants had a right to use their property for a day care even if it caused discomfort to plaintiffs.