What's the distinction between public and private nuisance? Some examples would be nice for better understanding. Thanks in advance.

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The major difference between the two is the scope of harm that is done and the number of people to whom the harm is done.

A private nuisance is one that is felt by a single person or perhaps a single family.  By contrast, a public nuisance is one whose...

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The major difference between the two is the scope of harm that is done and the number of people to whom the harm is done.

A private nuisance is one that is felt by a single person or perhaps a single family.  By contrast, a public nuisance is one whose impact is felt by a large number of people.

Some possible examples of private nuisance:

  • Your dog using my yard as its toilet
  • My tree dropping rotten fruit in your yard

Some possible examples of public nuisance:

  • A bar playing loud music late at night near to private homes
  • A business that dumps its trash in the empty lot out back, attracting rodents and flies and endangering public health
  • A run-down motel that is used mainly by drug dealers and prostitutes

In general, the remedy for private nuisance is a suit brought by the offended private citizen.  The remedy for a public nuisance is sought by the affected government.

 

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