115 Mass. 217 (Mass. 1874), Jenks v. Williams

Citation:115 Mass. 217
Opinion Judge:Gray
Party Name:Mary R. Jenks & others v. Jacob L. Williams & another
Attorney:J. L. Thorndike, for the plaintiffs. O. W. Holmes, Jr., & W. A. Munroe, for the defendants.
Judge Panel:Gray, C. J. Ames & Devens, JJ., absent.
Case Date:June 18, 1874
Court:Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 217

115 Mass. 217 (Mass. 1874)

Mary R. Jenks & others

v.

Jacob L. Williams & another

Supreme Court of Massachusetts

June 18, 1874

Suffolk. Bill in equity against Jacob L. Williams, the occupant of a house on Mount Vernon Street, in Boston, adjoining a house in said street, owned by the plaintiffs, alleging that the defendant was about to construct a bow-window upon the front of his house, projecting before said front more than one foot, in violation of the St. of 1799, c. 31, § 5, [*] and the ordinances of the city of Boston of 1850; [**] that said bow-window would obstruct the view from the windows of the plaintiff's house, and would diminish the light and air entering the same: and praying for an injunction to restrain the defendant from constructing the bow-window.

Before the case came to a hearing, the defendant completed the window, and the bill was amended by making Moses Williams the owner of the building, a party. The amended bill alleged the completion of the window, that the view from the plaintiffs' windows was thereby obstructed, and the value of their house diminished, and prayed for an injunction to restrain the defendants from continuing the bow-window in front of their house, and that the defendants might be ordered to pull down and remove said window and every part of it which projected into the street beyond the front of their house.

The defendants demurred, and the case was reserved by Devens, J., on the amended bill and demurrers for the consideration of the full court.

Demurrer sustained, and the Bill dismissed, with costs.

J. L. Thorndike, for the plaintiffs.

O. W. Holmes, Jr., & W. A. Munroe, for the defendants.

Gray, C. J. Ames & Devens, JJ., absent.

OPINION

Gray

Page 218

The St. of 1799, c. 31, § 5, and the city ordinance of 1850, imposing penalties for making and maintaining bow-windows or other projections into the streets of Boston, are manifestly intended for the benefit of the public, and not to confer distinct rights on individual citizens or owners of property. The plaintiffs do not allege that they have any easement or right of light and air across the front of the defendant's house, and could not have, except by grant or agreement intended for their benefit.

Page 219

Keats v. Hugo, ante, 204. Paine v. Boston, 4 Allen 168. Jeweli v. Lee, 14 Allen 145. In the absence of any such...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP