Baker v. Howard Cty. Hunt

171 Md. 159, 188 A. 223 (1936)

 

RULE:

Equity will relieve against continuing or repeated trespasses, committed in pursuance of a single plan or purpose. Although an injunction will not be granted to restrain a trespasser merely because he is a trespasser, equity will interfere where the injury is irreparable or where full and adequate relief cannot be granted at law, or where the trespass goes to the destruction of the property as it had been held and enjoyed, or to prevent multiplicity of suits. 

FACTS:


Defendant fox hunters repeatedly crossed the plaintiff landowners' property with their hounds while in pursuit of a fox. The hounds killed and harassed the plaintiffs' livestock and disrupted experiments that he was conducting. Plaintiff brought a trespass to land action and sought an injunction. The trial court dismissed the complaint and on appeal, the court reversed.

ISSUE:

Were plaintiffs entitled to injunctive relief?

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

The court held that the rights of the fox hunters were subordinate to the rights of the landowners, and that, if a hunter went on the lands of another against the owner's will, he was a trespasser. Similarly, the fox hunters were liable for the actions of the hounds when the evidence showed that they knew of the dogs' actions. An injunction was a proper remedy to avoid a multiplicity of actions, where the injury was irreparable or the trespass destroyed property. An injunction was appropriate against the fox hunters.

Click here to view the full text case and earn your Daily Research Points.