Wormall v Wormall (2004)


The minimum remedy that was required to do justice to a party was sufficient to satisfy equity.


The appellant (W) appealed an order that he pay compensation to the respondent (R). W had consented to R, who was his daughter, using land that he owned. W had withdrawn his consent and had sought possession of land on the basis that R was a trespasser. R had raised a defence of proprietary estoppel to W's claim. The judge held that R had made out a case of proprietary estoppel and made a declaration that R was entitled to occupy the land for a stated period. The judge also ordered W to compensate R for having to vacate the land early. W submitted that once equity was satisfied by allowing R to remain at the property for the stated period there was no relevant loss for which compensation was payable


The declaration made by the judge was the minimum required to do justice to R and to satisfy equity. Once the minimum equitable remedy was found there was no outstanding equity to be satisfied. The judge had erred in principle by ordering W to pay compensation to R.

Appeal allowed.