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Prah v. Maretti

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 108 Wis. 2d 223, 321 N.W.2d 182, 1982 Wisc. 29 A.L.R.4th 324.

Brief Fact Summary. A person’s house uses solar energy. The owner of adjacent property attempts to build a structure that would block the sunlight from the house.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. When a landowner uses solar energy, and a new structure will unreasonably interfere with his use and enjoyment of his solar-powered property, the construction of the new structure can be enjoined under the theory of private nuisance.

Facts. The plaintiff’s residence uses solar energy for heat and hot water. The defendant bought the lot adjacent to the residence and planned to build a home, but the home would adversely affect the plaintiff’s solar energy collecting. The plaintiff seeks injunctive relief.

Issue. When a person uses sunlight as a source of energy, will the theory of private nuisance allow him to protect his property interest?

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