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Seagraves v. Portland City Temple

Citation: 5 ELR 20507
No. No. 10,367, 522 P.2d 893/269 Or. 28, (Or., 07/07/1975)

The Supreme Court of Oregon, en banc, upholds the trial court's finding that defendants' operation of a private airstrip represents a nuisance to plaintiffs' adjacent farm. Plaintiffs' claim of interference with the use of their property caused by both overhead flights and the noise and vibrations from defendants' airport operations was adequately established by descriptive evidence; the test for nuisance is that of an unreasonable interference with the daily life of ordinary people and objective evidence, such as decibel readings, is not required. Defendant's contention that a portion of the trial court's decree prohibiting take-off from or landing toward plaintiffs' boundary until authorized by state and federal agencies is without support in the evidence has no merit. Furthermore, since defendant's current license actually prohibits the operations curtailed by the decree, the trial court did not alter defendant's rights. Finally, defendant's request that the portion of the decree which flatly prohibits charitable or recreational rides be limited to flights extending over plaintiffs' air space is denied. A finding of a nuisance requires no physical intrusion. The nuisance involved here stemmed, in part, from the noise and vibrations caused by the initiation of instructional and recreational flights on defendant's airstrip. The high volume of these particular operations justifies the trial court's decision.

Counsel for Plaintiff-Respondents
Norman F. Webb
510 Pioneer Trust Building
109 Commercial St., N.E.
Salem, Ore. 97301

Counsel for Defendant-Appellants
Alan K. Brickley
Davis, Jensen, Defrancq & Holmes
Suite 630, Morgan Building
720 S.W. Washington St.
Portland, Ore. 97205