A trespass claimant must prove two elements: the plaintiffs rightful possession and the defendant's unlawful entry. Oil Co. Poppler v. Wright Hennepin Coop. See Borland v. Sanders Lead Co., 369 So.2d 523, 529 (Ala.1979) (Whether an invasion of a property interest is a trespass or a nuisance does not depend upon whether the intruding agent is tangible or intangible . Instead, an analysis must be made to determine the interest interfered with. WebPaynesville Farmers Union Coop. In Minnesota, atrespassis committed where a plaintiff has the right of possession to the land at issue and there is a wrongful and unlawful entry upon such possession by defendant. Thus, while the court concludes that invasion by an intangible object never interferes with a property owner's possessory rights, I conclude that in some circumstances it may, particularly when that intangible object is actually a substance that settles on the land and damages it. But the district court should deny a motion to amend a complaint when the proposed claim could not survive a summary-judgment motion. 6511(a). 541.05, subd. We considered but rejected the theory that the fumes were the kind of physical intrusion onto property that could support a trespass claim, even though, scientifically speaking, odorous elements within fumes are indeed physical substances, which we referred to as merely "particulate matter." Domagala v. Rolland, 805 N.W.2d 14, 22 (Minn.2011). He was also told by the state's organic certifying agent that if any pesticide residue was detected, he must take the field out of organic production for three years. Ass'n. 193, 90 L.Ed. There is no dispute about the Johnsons' rightful possession of their fields. WebCase 1:15-cv-01632-LMB-IDD Document 22 Filed 04/25/16 Page 7 of 20 PageID# 272. WebFinal Research Paper Case Brief 1 Citation: Johnson v. Paynesville Farmers Union Co-op Oil Comp., 817 N.W. First, the language of section 205.202(b) is silent with respect to who applied the prohibited substances. Website. Id. The court's reading makes no sense because no matter who applies the prohibited pesticide and no matter how the pesticide is applied, whether by drift or otherwise, the end product will be no less contaminated and no less in violation of regulations limiting such contamination. [h]ave had no prohibited substances . 205.202(b), within the context of the OFPA's focus on regulating the practices of the producer of organic products, we conclude that this phrase unambiguously regulates behavior by the producer. In response to this MDA directive, the Johnsons destroyed approximately 10 acres of their soybean crop. The supreme court has explained that "the intentional throwing of [an object] upon [another's] property would constitute a trespass." As the Johnsons read section 205.202(b), any amount of pesticide, no matter how it came into contact with the field, would require that the field be taken out of organic production for 3 years. We reverse the district court's summary judgment order dismissing the Johnsons' trespass claim because pesticide drifting onto the Johnsons' farm may have constituted a trespass. Both those cases and this one, unlike Wendinger, involved the dispersion of substances that entered into and settled onto land in discernable and allegedly damaging deposits. The district court granted, in part, the Johnsons' motion for a temporary injunction on June 26, 2009, requiring the Cooperative to give the Johnsons notice before it sprayed pesticides on land adjoining the Johnsons' organic farm. 205.202(b). The more specific holdings in chemical drift trespass cases in other jurisdictions are consistent with our holding today. However, if that person were to cause car exhaust, which presumably dissipates quickly in the air, to enter a person's land, it would seem that a trespass would not occur. 7 U.S.C. 7 U.S.C. And both those cases and this one, unlike Wendinger, involve a substantive invasion in which the deposited thing not merely vaporous and dissipating odors are the source of the injury arising out of the alleged trespass. In April 2010, the Johnsons moved to amend their complaint to include damages from the 2008 incidents. Some pesticides drifted onto and contaminated plaintiffs organic fields and organic products. No Minnesota case has addressed whether unwanted pesticide drift from a targeted field to an adjacent otherwise organic farming operation can constitute a trespass. Johnson v. Paynesville Farmers Union Coop. Oluf Johnson and Debra Johnson v. Paynesville Farmers Union Cooperative Oil Company. KidCloverButterfly14. See, e.g., Bradley, 709 P.2d at 786, 791 (holding that the 3year trespass statute of limitations applied rather than the 2year nuisance statute of limitations). Consequently, the Cooperative sought a review of the judgment. In a breach of contract case, the court can consider ordering specific performance as long as the innocent party asks for that remedy. of Ramsey, 323 N.W.2d 65, 71 (Minn.1982).9. 205.671confirm this interpretation. Because Bradley and Borland require a showing of reasonable foreseeability and substantial damages, they essentially disregard the traditional understanding of trespass under Minnesota law, and they are in reality, examples of either the tort of private nuisance or liability for harm resulting from negligence and not trespass cases at all. The district court granted summary judgment and dismissed the Johnsons' trespass, nuisance, and negligence per se claims. If the agent determines that a product intended to be sold as organic contains any [detectible] pesticide, the producer may be required to prove that any prohibited substance was not applied to that product. For example, if someone causes harmful dust to enter a person's land and that dust settles on the person's land and interferes with the owner's possession of the land, it would seem that a trespass has occurred. The NOP regulation that specifically implements this compliance provision in the statute7 C.F.R. Oil Co., 802 N.W.2d 383 (Minn.App.2011). FindLaw.com Free, trusted legal information for consumers and legal professionals, SuperLawyers.com Directory of U.S. attorneys with the exclusive Super Lawyers rating, Abogado.com The #1 Spanish-language legal website for consumers, LawInfo.com Nationwide attorney directory and legal consumer resources. The Johnsons also supported their nuisance and negligence per se claims with allegations separate from the damages that they contend were caused due to the OCIA's interpretation of section 205.202(b). He also notified commercial pesticide sprayer Paynseville Farmers Union Cooperative Oil Company of the transition. 205.202(b). In January 2009, the Johnsons sued the cooperative for the 2005 and 2007 incidents. The district court relied on a phrase in our decision in Wendinger and dismissed the trespass claim, but we think the district court read too much into our specific wording in that case. 205.202(b) (2012). The plain language of the phraseAny field or farm parcel must: (b) Have had no prohibited substances applied to itindicates that the concern is what the land in question was exposed to, not how it was exposed, why it was exposed, or who caused the exposure. Our review of cases from other jurisdictions reveals that courts have abandoned the distinction between trespass and nuisance, at least in part, because courts generally favor allowing parties to vindicate wrongs and, in many jurisdictions, actions for trespass have a longer statute of limitations than actions for nuisance. In terms of size, the largest inhalable coarse particles are 10 micrometers in diameter; that is one-seventh the diameter of a strand of human hair. We turn first to the portion of the Johnsons' nuisance and negligence per se claims that are based on 7 C.F.R. Johnson v. Paynesville Farmers Union Co-op. WebCase Brief (19,287) Case Opinion (19,683) Johnson v. Paynesville Farmers Union Coop. See Minn. Stat. P. 15.01. 6506(a)(4),(5). The email address cannot be subscribed. The distinct language in section 205.202(b) is striking in comparison to these provisions. In addition, the Johnsons claim damages for actual crop losses, inconvenience, and adverse health effects. 1989). I disagree with the breadth of the court's holding. See Johnson, 802 N.W.2d at 389. After receiving the results of the chemical testing, the MDA informed the parties that test results revealed that the chemical dicamba was present, but below detection levels. Cf. Evidently, under the court's reading of the regulations, if a third party intentionally applies a prohibited pesticide to an organic farm field in a quantity sufficient to leave a residue that violates the regulation, 7 U.S.C. 2d 693 (2012) Parties: Oluf Johnson, Respondent, Paynesville 205.202(b), before dismissing all of the Johnsons' claims, and that the district court had abused its discretion in denying the Johnsons' motion to amend their complaint to include claims based on the 2008 incidents. Regarding the 2007 overspray, the district court dismissed the trespass claim because it concluded that "trespass by particulate matter" is not recognized in Minnesota; it dismissed the nuisance and negligence-per-se claims because the Johnsons presented no evidence that the cooperative's spraying caused damages; and it dismissed the battery claim for lack of evidence of intent. Oil Co. 817 n.w.2d 693 (minn. 2012) Appellant Paynesville Farmers Union Cooperative Oil Company (Cooperative) was a member owned farm products and services provider that, among other things, applied pesticides to farm fields. The court reversed the Court of Appeal in part and affirmed in part and remanded the case to the trial court to determine thenuisanceclaim. In addition, given that the ambient environment always contains particulate matter from many sources, the expansion of the tort of trespass in cases such as Bradley and Borland to include invasions by intangible matter potentially subject[s] countless persons and entities to automatic liability for trespass absent any demonstrated injury. John Larkin, Inc., 959 A.2d at 555; see also Borland, 369 So.2d at 529 (It might appear, at first blush, from our holding today that every property owner in this State would have a cause of action against any neighboring industry which emitted particulate matter into the atmosphere, or even a passing motorist, whose exhaust emissions come to rest upon another's property.). In the 1990s, Oluf and Debra Johnson began the three-year process of converting their conventional family farm to a certified-organic farm to realize the higher market prices for organic produce and seeds. The Johnsons do not allege that a tangible object invaded their land. While the district court, both parties, and the court of appeals characterize the dismissal as one based on a lack of prima facie evidence of damages, the Johnsons clearly made a prima facie showing of damages; they actually took their soybean field back to the beginning of the 3year transition period and lost the opportunity to market crops from that field as organic during that time period. 205.202(b). 6511(c)(1). Plaintiffs sued defendant fortrespass. The inconvenience and adverse health effects the Johnsons allege are the type of claims contemplated in Highview North Apartments, and if proven, they may affect the Johnsons' ability to use and enjoy their land and thereby constitute a nuisance. But in cases like Bradley and Borland, the courts call[ ] the intrusion of harmful microscopic particles a trespass and not a nuisance, and then us[e] some of the techniques of nuisance law to weigh the amount and reasonableness of the intrusion. Dobbs, supra, 50 at 96. We review the district court's denial of a party's motion to amend a complaint for abuse of discretion. Under these guidelines, if a prohibited substance is detected on a product sold or labeled as organic, the certifying agent must conduct an investigation to determine whether there has been a violation of the federal requirements. Because the Johnsons still have a viable nuisance claim, and an injunction is a potential remedy for a nuisance, we hold that the district court erred when it dismissed the Johnsons' request for permanent injunctive relief. 205.202(b) (2012) cover instances of pesticide drift, thereby, justifying certain of plaintiff organic farmers Johnsons nuisance and negligence per se claims for damages? 205.202(b), the court of appeals disagreed with the district court's interpretation of the NOP regulations. Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. WebPDF State of Minnesota Supreme Court 20-72 IN THE Supreme Court of the United States _____ JANET L. HIMSEL, ET AL., Petitioners, v. 4/9 LIVESTOCK, LLC, ET AL., Respondents. . The MDA investigated and again cited the cooperative for illegally spraying, and the Johnsons again took the affected fields out of organic production for three years. You have successfully signed up to receive the Casebriefs newsletter. Smelting & Ref. The court looked outside Minnesota to support the holding it reached.8 Id. A link to your Casebriefs LSAT Prep Course Workbook will begin to download upon confirmation of your email In the absence of actual damages, the trespasser is liable for nominal damages. 205.202(b) (2012). Workers, 676 F.3d 566, 570 (7th Cir.2012) (stating that the same rules of construction apply to federal administrative rules as to statutes); Citizens Advocating Responsible Dev. See, e.g., Anderson v. Dep't of Natural Res., 693 N.W.2d 181, 192 (Minn.2005) (discussing our nuisance jurisprudence); Schmidt v. Vill. We turn first to the question of whether, as the district court held, the Johnsons' trespass claim fails as a matter of law. The OFPA focuses on the producers and handlers of the products that are marketed and sold as organic. . In addition to these general provisions, the OFPA also establishes certain crop production practices that are prohibited when producers seek to sell products as organic. 205.202(b). The distinction between trespass and nuisance should not be based on whether the object invading the land is tangible or intangible. Pesticide labels generally prohibit use when the wind is in excess of five miles per hour. In other words, the tort of trespass is committed when a person intentionally enters or causes direct and tangible entry upon the land in possession of another. Dobbs, supra, 50 at 95 (footnotes omitted). (540) 454-8089. exceeded the 5% tolerance limits established [under the federal organic-certification regulations], produce from these plants could have been sold as `organic'" We review the district court's interpretation of the organic-certification regulation de novo. Don't Miss Important Points of Law with BARBRI Outlines (Login Required). But when the Johnsons gave the cooperative an invoice documenting their losses from the overspray, the cooperative refused to pay. Because the Johnsons' interpretation nullifies part of the OFPA and the NOP, that interpretation is not reasonable, and we decline to adopt it. 4 BACKGROUND2 I. In this section, the NOP requires that producers who have been certified as organic create buffers between the fields from which organic products will be harvested and other fields. Minnesota has adopted the OFPA and the NOP as its state organic farming law. Make your practice more effective and efficient with Casetexts legal research suite. But interpreting the regulation to allow for an automatic under-five-percent safe harbor for drift ignores this additional, more specific commentary: We do not speculate as to the Johnsons' damages, but we hold that the district court erroneously rejected their claims for lack of damages on the ground that, by virtue of there having been no finding of five-percent contamination, no damages could be proven. VI, 10. The Johnsons contend that the phrase applied to it in the regulation, read in conjunction with other sections of the NOP, means that any application of pesticides to a field, whether intentional or not, requires that the field be taken out of organic production for 3 years.11 Based on this reading, the Johnsons assert that they were required to take their soybean field back to the beginning of the 3year transition period because of the 2007 pesticide drift.12 As a result, the Johnsons claim they lost the ability to market crops from that field as organic, and therefore lost the opportunity to seek the premium prices commanded by organic products. 6504, 6513. The cooperative oversprayed adjacent fields again in 2005 and the Johnsons again contacted the MDA. Oil Co., appellants could not establish causation as a matter of law. Case brief Johnson v. Paynesville Farmers Union Co-op Oil Comp., 817 N.W.2d 693 (2012) Facts: Appellant Paynesville Farmers Union Cooperative Oil Company is a member owned farm that has products and services, among other things, applies pesticides to farm fields. Respondents Oluf and Debra Johnsons are organic farmers. 1670, 1680, 182 L.Ed.2d 678 (2012) (noting that courts are to consider questions of statutory interpretation by looking at phrases in the context of the entire statute). Oil Co. Case below, 817 N.W.2d 693. 7 U.S.C. As discussed above, the Johnsons' 2007 trespass claim and claims based on 7 C.F.R. The court of appeals reversed and remanded. See H. Christiansen & Sons Inc., 225 Minn. at 480, 31 N.W.2d at 27374; Sime, 213 Minn. at 481, 7 N.W.2d at 328. The cooperative's counter position, which is that "applied to" does not include unintended residual drift from overspray, is belied by the express language of the regulation. See Minn. Stat 561.01. Such invasions may interfere with the landowner's use and enjoyment of her land, but those invasions do not require that the landowner share possession of her land in the way that invasions by physical objects do. We first address the district court's conclusion that chemical pesticide drift cannot constitute a trespass. He smelled chemicals in the air over his field, leaving him with "cottonmouth, headache and nausea" and his wife a headache and nausea. The same is true for the Johnsons' request for a permanent injunction. The argument is persuasive. 51, 602 N.W.2d 215, 21819 (Mich.Ct.App.1999) ([P]ossessory rights to real property include as distinct interests the right to exclude and the right to enjoy, violations of which give rise to the distinct causes of action respectively of trespass and nuisance. (citing Keeton, supra, 87)); John Larkin, Inc. v. Marceau, 184 Vt. 207, 959 A.2d 551, 555 (Vt.2008) (holding that landowner who sprayed pesticide on his land that drifted onto plaintiff's land did not commit trespass because there was no evidence that the pesticide interfered with the plaintiff's right to exclusive possession of his land). The Johnsons allege that the pesticide drift from the Cooperative's spraying constituted a nuisance because it caused an interference with their use and enjoyment of their land. Remanded. of Ramsey, 323 N.W.2d 65, 73 n. 6 (Minn. 1982) (permitting recovery for items lost in flooding, replacement of items, and the "owner's time in coping with the water problems" caused by nuisance), the district court erred by granting summary judgment without addressing them. 205.671confirms this interpretation. The rule the Johnsons advocate, and that the court of appeals adopted, erodes this right because it imposes on the property owner the obligation to demonstrate that the invasion causes some consequence. 6511(c)(2)(A). In re NCAA Student-Athlete Names & Likeness Licensing Litigation. So the only question is whether the cooperative's unlawful spraying of the chemical pesticide causing it to drift onto the Johnsons' otherwise chemical-free fields constitutes an unlawful entry. In addition, if unavoidable residual environmental contamination is present on the product at levels that are greater than those set for the substance at issue, the product may not be sold as organic. We remand for further proceedings arising from the reversal. 205.662(a), (c) (providing that any noncompliance with the NOP can lead to decertification)). For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the conduct about which the Johnsons complain does not constitute a trespass in Minnesota. We review a district court's denial of a motion to amend a complaint for an abuse of discretion. This distinction between inference with possessory rights and interference with use and enjoyment rights is reflected in the only reported decisions in Minnesota, both from the court of appeals, which reached the question of whether an invasion by particulate matter constitutes a trespass. at 550. The compliance provision requires, as a way to enforce the requirements in the OFPA, that the certifying agent utilize a system of residue testing to test products sold as organically produced. 7 U.S.C. In contrast to the provisions that specifically regulate the behavior of producers, the language in section 205.202(b) focuses on a characteristic of the field and does not refer to the producer, handler, or farmer. That regulation reads: Any field or farm parcel from which harvested crops are intended to be sold, labeled, or represented as organic, must: (b) Have had no prohibited substances, as listed in 205.105, applied to it for a period of 3 years immediately preceding harvest of the crop [. And in a case alleging damages caused by pesticides, like this case, the applicable statute of limitations is 2 years regardless of the type of claim the plaintiff brings. PDF United States Court of Appeals The plaintiffs were organic farmers who alleged that Unlike the plaintiffs in Wendinger, the Johnsons do not claim trespass based on transient odors. Therefore, I would allow the suit to go forward and permit the record to be developed to resolve that question. Greenwood v. Evergreen Mines Co., 220 Minn. 296, 31112, 19 N.W.2d 726, 73435 (1945) (water); Whittaker v. Stangvick, 100 Minn. 386, 391, 111 N.W. (540) 454-8089. The court of appeals also concluded that the district court erred in failing to separately analyze or discuss the Johnsons' claims that were not based on trespass or on 7 C.F.R. The district court consequently denied the Johnsons' request for permanent injunctive relief. One of the purposes of the OFPA is to establish national standards governing the marketing of certain agricultural products as organically produced products. 7 U.S.C. The question therefore is not one of damages but is more properly framed as a question of causation. And similarly, the Washington Supreme Court held in Bradley v. American Smelting and Refining Co. that arsenic and cadmium particles emitted from a smelting plant and landing on the plaintiffs' land could also constitute a trespass. Our first task is to determine whether the regulation is ambiguous. Get free summaries of new Minnesota Supreme Court opinions delivered to your inbox! Co., 104 Wash.2d 677, 709 P.2d 782 (Wash.1985)). Generally, both trespass and nuisance have a 6year statute of limitations. The district court initially issued a temporary injunction, but after dismissing the Johnsons' claims on the merits, it vacated that injunction and denied the Johnsons' request for a permanent injunction. 205.671. However, this burden on property owner is inconsistent with the purpose oftrespasslaw which is to protect the unconditional right of property owners even when no damages are provable. Rather, when we interpret a rule, we consult the language itself, the specific context in which that language is used, and the broader context of the [rule] as a whole. Robinson v. Shell Oil Co., 519 U.S. 337, 341, 117 S.Ct. Learn more about FindLaws newsletters, including our terms of use and privacy policy. But the court of appeals reversed, holding that the phrase applied to it implicitly includes unintentional pesticide drift, and that therefore OCIA had discretion to decertify the Johnsons' soybean field under section 205.202(b). WebOluf Johnson, et al., Respondents, vs. The Johnsons sued Appellant on theories including trespass, nuisance, and negligence per se, seeking damages and injunctive relief. Our rules of statutory interpretation (which we apply to regulations) do not permit us to add words to a regulation whether the words were purposefully omitted or inadvertently overlooked. Premier Bank v. Becker Dev., LLC, 785 N.W.2d 753, 760 (Minn.2010). In Minnesota ) ) FindLaws newsletters, including our terms of use privacy... Trespass cases in other jurisdictions are consistent with our holding today above, the Johnsons moved amend. 95 ( footnotes omitted ) as a matter of law with BARBRI Outlines ( Login )... 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