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Estancias Dallas Corp. v. Schultz

    Brief Fact Summary. The Plaintiffs, Mr. and Mrs. Schultz (Plaintiffs), sued to enjoin the Defendant’s, Estancias Dallas Corp (Defendant), operation of an air conditioning unit located adjacent to their land. Plaintiffs claimed the air conditioning unit interfered with their use and enjoyment of the land.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. Even when there is a jury finding of a nuisance, there should be a balancing of the equities in order to determine if an injunction should be granted.

    Facts. Plaintiffs reside in a residential house that is located adjacent to Defendant’s apartment complex. The Defendants have installed an air conditioning unit, which is located on the back-side of the apartment complex and about 55 feet from the Plaintiffs’ residence. Plaintiffs complain that the unit is so loud that it interferes with their enjoyment of their property. Plaintiffs sued to enjoin permanently Defendant’s operation of the air conditioning unit. The jury awarded damages and a permanent injunction to Plaintiffs.

    Issue. Whether the operation of the air conditioning unit by the Defendant should be enjoined and whether the trial court conducted a balancing of equities test that favored the Plaintiffs.

    Held. Affirmed, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in balancing the equities in favor of the Plaintiff and granting the injunction.
    Even when there is a jury finding of a nuisance, there should be a balancing of the equities in order to determine if an injunction should be granted.
    The court will consider any injury, which may result to the Defendant and the public by granting the injunction, as well as the injury to be sustained by the Plaintiff if the injunction is denied.

    Discussion. The court noted it was significant that the Defendant did not fully brief the court on the benefit to the public the air conditioner provided to the apartments it serviced. The court also noted that while it appeared that the trial court had done an analysis balancing the equities, no specific mention of that analysis was made in the record.


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