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Dowdell v. Bloomquist

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Bloomquist appealed the judgment of the trial court that found that Bloomquist planted 40-foot trees in his backyard to spite his neighbor.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    A row of trees can be considered a fence within the parameters of a nuisance statute.

    Facts.

    Bloomquist sought to build a second story on his home, and his neighbor, Dowdell, objected to the addition because the second story would block her ocean view. Bloomquist then planted 40-foot trees to block Dowdell’s view from her house, in violation of a local spite-view statute. The trial court granted judgment in favor of Dowdell.

    Issue.

    Whether a row of trees can be considered a fence within the parameters of a nuisance statute?

    Held.

    Yes. Spite trees are equally as illegal as spite fences. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

    Dissent.

    (Flanders, J.) The court only had the power to grant damages, rather than injunctive relief.

    Discussion.

    Planting a row of trees in close proximity is considered a hedge. A hedge is considered a fence under the statute.


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