Meaning and Definition of Trespass:

Trespass is a wrong of tort upon someone’s person or property. Every person has of the right to protect his body and property from undesirable interference. Simply, trespass is unlawful interference to others person or property. Trespass is actionable per se and thus remediable without proof of damage.

Prof. Ratanlal and Dhirajlal

Trespass, in its widest sense, signifies any transgression or offence against the laws of nature, of society, or of the country, whether relating to a man’s person or to his property.

Entick v. Carrington

Every invasion of private property, be it ever so minute, is a trespass.

Classification of trespass:

Trespass may be classified into three categories according its nature to creation. These are –

  1. Trespass to person
  2. Trespass to land
  3. Trespass to goods

A. Trespass to Person:

Trespass to person is a wrong of tort to someone’s body. Trespass to person may be committed by following three ways –

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • False imprisonment

(1) Assault:

A man becomes afraid of a battery when an attempt is taken by somebody to give it. Such an attempt taken may be called an assault in law.

Prof. Winfield

An assault is the unlawful laying of hands on another or an attempt to do a corporal hut to another, coupled with present ability and intention to do the act, thus the act is putting a man in present fear of violence.

Prof. R. K. Bangia

Assault is an act of the defendant which causes to the plaintiff reasonable apprehension of the infliction of a battery (hart) no him by the defendant.

Elements of assault:

  • laying of hands on another or an attempt to do a corporal hut to another, but not touched
  • without lawful cause
  • with present ability
  • with intention to do the act
  • putting a man in present fear of violence

(2) Battery:

When a man is driven by passion applies force on the person of somebody in a hostile approach without any lawful cause, it becomes a battery in law.

      Prof. Winfield

Battery is the actual striking of another person or touching him in a rude, angry or insolvent manner. It consists in touching another’s person hostility or against his will, however, slightly. It is the actual application of force to the person without any lawful justification, in a rude, angry, insolvent or revengeful manner.  

      Prof. R. K. Bangia

The wrong of battery consists in intentional application of force to another person without any lawful justification.

Elements of battery:

  • actual striking of another person or touching him in a rude, angry or insolvent manner
  • without lawful cause
  • with intention to do the act

(3) False imprisonment:

Every citizen enjoys a freedom of movement. To interfere in such a right to another or to detain someone without any lawful excuse, even for a moment, is called false imprisonment.

Prof. R. K. Bangia

False Imprisonment consists in the imposition of a total restrain for some period, however short, upon the liberty of another, without sufficient lawful justification.

Prof. Ratanlal and Dhirajlal

      False Imprisonment is a total restrain of the liberty of a person, for, however short a time, without lawful excuse.

      Prof. Winfield

      False Imprisonment is the infliction of bodily restrict which is not expressly or impliedly authorized by law.

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