Jacque v. Steenberg Homes, Inc

In Jacque v. Steenberg Homes, Inc., 209 Wis. 2d 605, 621, 563 N.W.2d 154 (1997), the supreme court concentrated very specifically on the special nature of the harm caused by trespass to land-a harm, obviously, wholly distinguishable from that resulting from a false complaint of sexual harassment. See Jacque, 209 Wis. 2d at 615-22. The supreme court also focused on the societal response to trespass to land, commenting that "punitive damages have the effect of bringing to punishment types of conduct that, though oppressive and hurtful to the individual, almost invariably go unpunished by the public prosecutor." Id. at 620. Thus, the supreme court clearly was influenced by the fact that, generally, trespass to land, despite the significant harm it causes, is not prosecuted and, when it is (as it was in that case), the penalty is modest. See id.