A. Juan bought the ranch knowing that StarWalkers often used their property for testing such as this.
B. Neither StarWalkers, nor its employees, ever set foot on Juan's property.
C. StarWalkers had no reason to believe that the testing would result in these problems.
D. StarWalkers' development of a rocket defense to destroy incoming aliens is a matter of national security and they are protected as privileged.
ANSWER: C. Trespass requires intent. If StarWalkers had no reason to believe that its tests would result in this type of damage, then they lack the requisite intent. By definition, a prima facia case for trespass to land consists of: 1) an act of physical invasion of the plaintiff's real property by the defendant; 2) intent on the defendant's part to bring about a physical invasion of the plaintiffs real property; and 3) causation. StarWalkers' testing did result in debris falling on Juan's property, which is deemed a sufficient physical invasion for purposes of a trespass action. However, and this is important, there are no facts indicating that StarWalkers intended to send their material onto Juan's land, making this the correct answer because it sets forth a situation where the element of intent is missing.
A is incorrect. StarWalkers is not free to commit an act that is deemed a trespass simply because Juan knew about them when he bought the land, as his knowledge is NOT implied consent.
B is incorrect. Physical invasion does not require that the defendant enter onto the land of the plaintiff; proven intent, in a situation such as this, is sufficient to be found a trespass.
D is incorrect. The defense of public necessity only arises when the public good is threatened with injury and the defendant is obligated to act for fear of the resulting injury actually occurring. Additionally in a public necessity case, the threatened fear or injury must be substantially greater than the defendant's interference by trespass onto the plaintiffs property. Here, there is no pending public necessity, making D inapplicable.
LEARNING POINT: Trespass requires intent.