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Trickett v. Ochs

Vermont Supreme Court
838 A.2d 66 (2003)


The defendants were in the business of growing and selling apples from their apple orchard. The orchard included a residence used as a homestead and a farmhouse used to store the apples. In 1992, the defendants sold the residence to the plaintiffs. The residence was located immediately across the road from the barn. At the time of purchase, the defendants’ use of the barn did not bother the plaintiffs because the defendants immediately shipped the apples out of the barn. However, in the mid-1990s, the defendants began waxing and storing the apples on-site in refrigerated tractor trailer trucks. In the winter, tractor trailer trucks arrived at the barn before dawn and throughout the day to pick up the apples. This new activity resulted in increased noise and light glare at the plaintiff’s residence. In August 1997, the plaintiffs complained to the zoning administrator, but these complaints were dismissed. In November 2000, the plaintiffs filed a nuisance suit against the defendants seeking an injunction and damages. The superior court found that the jurisdiction’s right-to-farm law barred the plaintiff’s suit.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Lockwood, J.)

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