AN action lies for every unlawful entry on the land or premises of another person for in the words of the old adage, An Englishmans home is his castle. Trespass may be committed merely by breaking his close. This phrase has been held to include the following acts, all of which have been hold to be trespasses: setting foot over a threshold; riding or driving over land; removing anything permanently affixed to land or buildings; allowing trees to overhang, or water to flow over land; sending a dog after game or rabbits; firing a gun and striking the ground with the shot. Foxhunters are liable for trespass, especially if thesr have been warned beforehand to keep off the land.
A peaceable trespasser may be expelled by force if he refuses to leave after being requested to do so, but only reasonable force may be employed in expelling him. A violent trespasser may be expelled at once without a request to leave; but he must not be injured. Even a thief is protected, for a man is not justified in injuring him unless it is strictly necessary to safeguard his own life or property. Once trespass is proved damages will be awarded; nominal damages if there be no actual loss, exemplary damages if the trespass be attended with aggravating circumstances.
Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted
The familiar notice Trespassers will be prosecuted has been referred to as a wooden lie, at any rate it is an incomplete statement of the law, for no trespasser can be prosecuted summarily unless the owner of the house or premises show that actual damage has been caused, because otherwise the justices will not assume so. Moreover, any claim by a trespasser that he had a right to be on the premises and do the act complained of ousts the juris- diction of magistrates and the matter must then be decided in a civil court.
Fruit from a Neighbours Tree Fruit which falls into a mans garden from his neighbours tree and any other chattels deposited belong to the neighbour, but no responsibility is incurred in regard to such involuntary deposits unless they are interfered with in any way. To use such chattels is strictly speaking a conversion of anothers property and actionable. A trespass to take possession of fruit would be justified providing no force be used and no damage caused. Motor-car Accidents and Property There is one kind of damage from which modern householders are particularly likely to suffer injury: to boundary walls and fences resulting from motorcar accidents. The general rule of law governs such cases, and it is necessary to prove negligence by the driver of the vehicle. An Act of God causing a skid on a frosty road relieves a motorist of liability, a swerve to avoid a pedestrian or other vehicle may likewise shift the responsibility. It therefore behoves a householder to make sure before presenting his case to the court that he has sued the right party. Damage by Aircraft In regard to aircraft it is provided by the Air Navigation Act, 1920: Where material damage is caused by an aircraft in flight, taking off, or landing … to any person or property . . . damages shall be recoverable from the owner of the aircraft . . . without proof of negligence or proof of intention or other cause of action as though the same had been caused by his wilful act, neglect, or default, except where the damage or loss was contributed to by the negligence of the person by whom the same was suffered. To fly an aircraft in a manner dangerous to fife or property is an offence punishable by £200 fine or six months imprisonment.
Far as the home is concerned the law of master and servant means that branch of it which deals with domestic servants. A contract governs the relationship of master and servant, and into the contract of hiring and of service anyone may enter. A married woman may make such a contract as if she were a single woman (or femme sole in the words of the Married Womens Property Acts) and judgment against her is only enforceable against her separate property.
Marriago does not of itself make the husband liable on his wifes contracts, and there must be either express or implied authority for her to act as his agent, a fact only to be ascertained by investigating the circumstances of any particular case. As manager of the household a married woman living with her husband may be presumed to have his authority to hire domestic servants, but if she live apart there is not this presumption of implied authority and it will be necessary to show by evidence that she had it.
Recovery of Wages
Infants have no power to enter into binding contracts except agreements of service for their own benefit. They are able, under the County Courts Act, 1SS8, to prosecute an action in the county court for wages as though they were of full age.
Contracts of domestic service are usually made by parol. If made by writing no particular form is required. A letter or series of letters or notes may be drawn up and from an examination of all these documents the court will construe the agreement. No stamps are required upon hiring-agreements for domestic servants, labourers, gardeners or artificers. In case of dispute, evidence can be given verbally to show the cir-cumstances under which the agreement was made and to apply the words used to the particular circumstances.
Sometimes a domestic servant, as a chauffeur or gardener, is permitted to occupy premises belonging to the master. Under such conditions he is not regarded as a tenant, this occupation is not his own but his masters and therefore he cannot claim to be a statutory tenant under the Rent Restrictions Act. When dismissed from service he must vacate the premises.
The general rule of law in regard to hiring is that where no time is limited by the agreement or by implication for the duration of the contract the hiring is regarded as a general hiring for a year. In the case of domestic servants tins rule does not apply, for it has been long established by custom (and enforced in many cases by the courts) that their contract of hiring can be ended by a months notice on cither side or by the payment of a months wages without board or lodgings in lieu of notice.