Court rejects claim protest using light show was trespass

Nevada’s appellate court has unanimously rejected the argument projecting a message on the side of a building to protest a business’s actions constituted trespassing.

The Union of Painters and Allied Trades was in a dispute with a business in the building owned by Tivoli Village in Southern Nevada. The message they projected onto the facade of the building accused the restaurant they were fighting with of health code violations.

The owners of Tivoli Village accused the union of causing irreparable harm because the restaurant’s lease agreement gives the owners a share of its sales as part of the rent. They argued they suffered harm from decreased sales by the restaurant as a result of the projected message and claimed the projected image constituted trespassing.

A district judge in Las Vegas agreed and issued a preliminary injunction barring the union from projecting its message on the building.

The three member appellate judges disagreed and threw out the preliminary injunction saying the actions of the union don’t constitute a trespass under Nevada law because light isn’t a tangible thing and therefore can’t invade real property.


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