Shoen v. ZacariasAnnotate this Case
The Court of Appeal held that the trial court's grant of an irrevocable license was an abuse of discretion because the court construed the "substantial expenditure" requirement too permissively and used the wrong legal standard in declaring the license to be forever irrevocable. In this case, defendant mistakenly improved a parcel of land between her and another property. After defendant learned that she did not own the entire patch of land, she continued to maintain it. Plaintiff's family purchased the other property and allowed defendant's use of the disputed area to continue. Then plaintiff's family trust acquired the disputed area and asked defendant to stop using the area.
The court held that plaintiff's estimate that she spent at least $15,000 to $25,000 in improving and maintaining the area between 2003 and the present did not constitute substantial evidence of a substantial expenditure. Therefore, the court reversed and remanded for further proceedings on the nuisance claim.