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Ensign v. Walls

Michigan Supreme Court
34 N.W.2d 549 (Mich. 1948)


Facts

For years, Walls (defendant) operated a business to raise, breed, and board St. Bernard dogs near the property of Ensign (plaintiff). After Walls had operated the business for several years, Ensign and several other families moved into the same neighborhood. Ensign brought suit against Walls on the ground that her business constituted a nuisance. Ensign alleged that noxious odors were constantly emitted from the property, that it was infested with rodents and flies, that dogs frequently escaped and roamed the neighborhood, and that the constant barking of dogs interfered with Ensign’s use and enjoyment of his property. Walls denied Ensign’s allegations and stated that she had operated her business on that property since 1926 and had invested significant money in the buildings and equipment there. She argued that Ensign was not entitled to damages. The trial court found Walls’ business constituted a nuisance, and that Walls had not acquired by prescriptive use the right to continue the nuisance. Walls appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Carr, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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