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Khorasandijan v Bush [1993] QB 727

Law of Nuisance – Interest – Licensee

Facts

The claimant, a young lady, was harassed by a man who, amongst other things, repeatedly made harassing, pestering, threatening and abusive phone calls to her.  These phone calls were made to her parents’ house and to her grandparents’ house.  She sought an injunction against him to prevent him making these phone calls to prevent the ongoing harassment through the tort of nuisance.  The injunction was granted, but the defendant sought to have it set aside on the grounds that the claimant did not have any interest in the land subject to the nuisance in the form of the phone calls, and as such the claimant could have no cause of action following Malone v Laskey [1907] 2 KN 141.

Issues

Whether the claimant had a cause of action arising from nuisance.  Whether the original judge had jurisdiction to grant an injunction over harassing, pestering or otherwise communicating as no known tort existed regarding these things.

Held

The appeal was dismissed.  An individual could not be protected by law from deliberate harassment and pestering phone calls by the civil justice system only if they happened to have a proprietary interest in the premises where they received those phone calls.  Applying Dyson Holdings Ltd v Fox [1976] 1 Q.B. 503. where the wife of the owner of the property was entitled to relief despite lacking a proprietary interest in the premises to which harassing phone calls were made, then there was no reason that this should not also apply to a child living at home with her parents.


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