Friday, November 11, 2011

Hinman v. Pacific Air Transport case brief

Hinman v. Pacific Air Transport (84 F.2d 755)

  • P claims that daily, or on many occassions, the defendants, an air transport company, have disturbed and invaded as well as trespassed on P's land.
  • D flew at altitudes of less than 100 ft., disregarding notices to desist from trespassing.
  • P asks for an injunction restraining D's operation of aircraft over P's property, seeks $90k in each case.
Does the P have property rights over the area above his land?
No, the complaint here did not state a case for injunctive relief.
-We own so much of the space above the ground that we can make use of.
-Traversing airspace above P's land is lawful as long as it is done under circumstances that will not cause injury to P's possession.
-Justinian said that "the air, like the sea, is by its nature incapable of private ownership, except in so far as one may actually use it.
-Damages not allowed, as acts of Ds will not cause actual or substantial damage to the P's use of their land.

Class: Property
Subjects: Tresspass, air space

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