The Civil Code’s treble damage multiplier for trespass or other tortious injury to trees applies to damages awarded for annoyance and discomfort as well as compensation for the actual injury to the trees. CCP 733 provides for treble actual damages for trespass or other tortious injury to trees. Civ. Code 3346(a) provides for treble damages if the injury is willful or malicious, and at least double actual damages otherwise. This decision holds that both sections’ damage multiplier applies to damages awarded for annoyance and discomfort as part of the compensatory damages for the injury to the trees. So that a neighbor who lopped limbs off trees along the property boundary without the other neighbor’s consent was liable for three times to annoyance and discomfort damages awarded the other neighbor for the damage done the trees.
California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 4 (Epstein, P.J.); January 31, 2017; 2017 WL 407997