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Jacque v. Steenberg Homes, Inc.

Wisconsin Supreme Court
209 Wis.2d 605, 563 N.W.2d 154 (1997)


 

Facts

Steenberg Homes (Steenberg) (defendant) sold a mobile home to a neighbor of the Jacques (plaintiffs). Because of snow on the nearest town road, the easiest way for Steenberg to deliver the mobile home was over the Jacques’ property. However, the Jacques refused to grant Steenberg permission to do so. Steenberg proceeded to deliver the mobile home across the Jacques’ property anyway. The Jacques notified the sheriff, and Steenberg was issued a $30 citation. The Jacques also sued Steenberg. At trial, the jury awarded the Jacques $1 in nominal damages and $100,000 in punitive damages. However, the circuit court set aside the award of $100,000, and the court of appeals affirmed. The Jacques appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Bablitch, J.)

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Questions & Answers


Would (or should) Would the ultimate monetary award have been different? Would Steenberg have been better off not asking permission in the first place?

Would (or should) the result in Jacque have been different if, instead of steadfastly refusing to permit Steenberg’s delivery truck to cross their land, the Jacques had demanded a large sum of money as a condition of permitting the crossing, which Steenberg refused to pay? Would the ultimate monetary award have been different? If so, what incentive does this case give property owners facing requests from third parties for the use of their otherwise idle resources? Would Steenberg have been better off not asking permission in the first place?

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Reposting questions from Dameon Matt, California School of Law, JD 2025.

Would (or should) the result in Jacque have been different if, instead of a mobile home seller making a scheduled delivery to a customer, the defendant had been an ambulance company responding to a call of a suspected heart attack? Of a broken leg? What if the snow-covered private road had instead been a recently collapsed bridge? What if Steenberg had tried to take the road despite the risks,
and the truck had accidentally tipped and fallen onto the Jacques’ land?

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Tempor minim nulla id mollit ullamco consequat aliquip adipisicing irure officia tempor. Magna sit eiusmod laborum proident laboris ex sunt. Non labore ex officia irure qui et laboris aliqua in minim. Labore velit aliqua proident officia cillum occaecat dolore tempor. Ullamco in consequat labore amet laborum proident reprehenderit anim cillum excepteur. Elit do nostrud nisi excepteur sit dolor pariatur fugiat. Nisi incididunt incididunt do est velit excepteur enim excepteur incididunt mollit pariatur. Irure tempor non in esse do. Laboris eiusmod in ad ut enim est duis ad sint veniam eiusmod. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt.