Trespass to Realty

A claim for trespass to realty is based upon an intentional intrusion upon real property that interferes with a possessory interest in the property. Such a claim may arise, for example, where a person enters or remains on someone else’s real property without the owner’s consent or intentionally damages someone else’s real property.

A victim of trespass to realty may recover compensatory damages, such as for loss of use of, or damage to, the real property. Punitive damages may also be available in particularly egregious cases.

A claim for trespass to realty generally must be brought within three years of the date on which the claim accrues.

For information about other civil claims recognized in the District of Columbia, click here. For information about how to use this guide, click here.

[Sources: Douglas C. Melcher, Tort Claims and Defenses in the District of Columbia § 7 (2014), and legal authorities cited therein.]