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Eustis v. Firster - 113 So. 2d 260 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1959)

Rule:

The application of the doctrine of laches depends upon the circumstances of each particular case. It is the doctrine of stale demands. The test of laches is whether there has been a delay that has resulted in the injury, embarrassment, or disadvantage of any person, but particularly the persons against whom relief is sought.

Facts:

Plaintiff filed suit, seeking a mandatory injunction requiring defendant city to remove the pier, dock, and boathouse because they encroached on his lot lines and obstructed his view of the lake. He purchased the lots bounded by a lake and the defendant city owned a pier, dock, and boathouses adjacent to the lot. The trial court granted the mandatory injunction, and defendant challenged the order.

Issue:

Does the doctrine of laches apply in the injunction suit of plaintiff lot owner?

Answer:

Yes.

Conclusion:

The court reversed and held that the defense of laches was applicable. The court found that plaintiff had purchased his lots sight unseen and brought suit almost 10 years after he became aware of the encroachments. The court found that the injunction infringed upon rights long since accrued to the appellant.

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