Summary Abatement Law and Legal Definition

Summary abatement is the abatement of a nuisance without any judicial proceeding. Abatement is made even without notice or hearing. It involves the actual removal of conditions constituting a nuisance without resorting to judicial means. Summary abatement would mean to put down or destroy without process. [Kankakee v. New York C. R. Co., 387 Ill. 109, 116 (Ill. 1944)].

Legislatures may authorize the summary abatement of public nuisances and give public authorities and municipal corporations the power to summarily abate nuisance. In cases of emergency, summary abatement is made without specific authorization by a jurisdiction's ordinance. For example, open wells, discharges of sewage, hazardous waste, and abandoned refrigerators are extreme hazards in populated areas. In such cases if the owner does not fix the problem or the owner is not found, the local government can make the correction and decide later who should pay. However, the government authorities should collect sufficient evidence to prove that the condition abated constituted a health or fire hazard.

Generally, summary abatement procedures are initiated in cases of agricultural nuisances, buildings constituting nuisances, obstructions of easements health nuisances, alcohol nuisances, and nuisances in streets or highways.