Trespass requires nominal damages.

A finding of trespass requires a court to award nominal damages under Tennessee law.

In Dorer v. Hennessee, No. M2023-00729-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 12, 2024) (memorandum opinion), the Court of Appeals overturned a trial court’s refusal to award damages after a trespass finding. While the Court deemed most of appellant’s issues waived on appeal due to insufficient briefing, it reversed the denial of trespass damages.

The trial court ruled that appellee trespassed but refused to award damages due to his “good faith.” On appeal, appellant correctly asserted that good faith is not relevant to determining whether a person trespassed. (internal citation omitted). When a litigant proves trespass, the property owner receives at least nominal damages. (internal citation omitted).

The Court therefore reversed the denial of trespass damages and affirmed the remainder of the judgment.


The Court issued this opinion 1.5 months after the case was assigned on briefs.

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