Blackstone defined a nuisance as something that “ worketh hurt , inconvenience or damages .” The term nuisance has been derived from the French word ‘nuire’ and the Latin word ‘nocere’ which mean ‘ to do hurt or to annoy ‘. Nuisance has been defined to be anything done to the hurt or annoyance of the lands , tenements or hereditament of another and which is not a trespass .
Nuisances are of two types —
i) Public Nuisance and
ii) Private Nuisance .
The distinction between public nuisance and private nuisance may be expressed better in the following tabular form .
||Private Nuisance .|
|1.||With respect to the public nuisance , if the plaintiff does not sustain special damage , an action for damages is not maintainable .||But in case of private nuisance , an action for damages is maintainable .|
|2.||In case of public nuisance , an action lies for declaration with a prayer for injunction .||But in case of private nuisance , an action for damages lies .|
|3.||One person individually can not sue in his own name for a public nuisance .||Private nuisance is actionable only by an individual .|
|4.||Public nuisance can not be legalized by any length of time .||But a right to create or continue a private nuisance can by acquired by way of prescription .|
|5.||Public nuisance affects the right , safety or convenience of the public at large or a considerable portion of the public .||On the other hand , private nuisance affects right of an individual or a determinate body of persons .|
|6.||A public nuisance can not be abated by any person affected thereby.||On the other hand , a private nuisance can be so abated .|