Posture: Circuit court took away the $100,000 while the court of appeals affirmed.
Facts: Steenberg needed to deliver a mobile home and decided that the easiest way is across the Jacques’ lands. The Jacques refused to allow him to deliver the mobile home. Steenberg disregarded what they wanted and dragged the mobile home across their land, against their wishes. The Jacques called the Sheriff and other people and they arrested Steenberg. Jacques pressed civil charges and won $1 in nominal and $100,000 in punitive. The $100,000 was challenged as ridiculous.
Decision: Plaintiff’s win. As long as some nominal amount or compensatory amount is there, the jury can award punitive damages.
Reasoning: The court says that as long as the landowners are not hurting other people, a landowner has the right to their own property. When the act is an intentional trespass to land, that is enough to award damages because everyone has a right to their property. They also have a right to do with their property as they please. The state has to enforce the right.