Battery is the (1) intentional infliction of (2) a harmful or offensive (3) contact. Offensive includes acts damaging to a “reasonable sense of dignity. ” No knowledge of contact is required. (Rationale: protection of personal integrity. Freedom from intentional and unpermitted contact. Offensive harm included b/c of mental injuries). ? To have a claim of battery, there must be a claim of fault, negligence, or wrongdoing on the part of the party doing the touching. VanCamp v. McAfoos (a little boy rides his bike into a woman).
? Must act intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact and when a harmful or offensive contact results. Snyder v. Turk (the surgeon yells at a nurse and pulls her face near a surgical opening) and Cohen v. Smith (against the pregnant woman’s religion to be touched or seen naked by the male nurse)(supports tort objective of protecting personal integrity) ? Intent to cause harmful or offensive contact with another (or an imminent apprehension of such contact) and harmful or offensive contact with a third person directly or indirectly resuls.
Hall v. McBryde (transferred intent rule: intent to cause battery or assault on one person can transfer if battery or assault on a 3rd person results) (defendant fired back at youths shooting towards his house and he hit his next door neighbor during the exchange) ? Actor must subjectively intend offensive or harmful consequences; he must appreciate the offensiveness of his conduct. White v. Muniz (insanity only makes it more difficult to prove the intent requirement, but is not a defense) (an Alzheimer’s patient strikes her caregiver in the face).
Assault is an (1) intentional act that creates (2) apprehension of an (3) imminent harmful or offensive contact. Apprehension requires more than words alone. Apprehension requires the D to be aware of the threatened contact. (Rationale: apprehension is a form of mental injury. Holding people liable for assault deters behavior that may lead to battery). ? One acts intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact with the person of another or an imminent apprehension of such contact. Cullison v.
Medley(apprehension of harmful contact is reasonable if defendant has the present ability to carry out that contact)(defendant’s family intimidated plaintiff because he tried to go on a date with their daughter) ? An act intending to cause harmful or offensive contact creates a reasonable apprehension of imminent battery. Koffman v. Garnett (an apprehension of fear must exist before the harmful contact; this doesn’t exist if plaintiff has no prior warning of the contact) (a football coach threw student to the ground to demonstrate proper tackling technique.
Intentional Infliction of Mental Distress is (1) intentional (2) extreme and outrageous conduct (3) that causes severe mental distress. Intent includes, inter alia, reckless disregard that emotional distress will occur. Extreme and outrageous conduct is conduct “beyond all possible bounds of decency. ” A D’s known sensitivity must be factored. Where such conduct is directed at a third person, a D is liable if he intentionally causes severe emotional distress (a) to a member of a person’s immediate family (b) who is present at the time and (c) who is known by the D to be present.
False Imprisonment is (1) intentionally (2) confining (3) another person within a limited area. Confining can be through threats, direct physical means, or assertion of legal authority. The person must be aware of confinement within a limited area. ? °One party serves to confine another within certain boundaries fixed by the actor and the victim is conscious of the confinement or harmed by it. McCann v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (a victim can either be kept by physical restraint or by duress/assertion of authority)(store employees backed patrons into a corner and held them for over an hour until the store security guard arrived) ? °Plaintiff must be conscious of the confinement at the time it occurs. Parvi v. Kingston (a drunk man was taken to an abandoned location by the police) ?
Confinement must be limited range of movement; not exclusion from a bar or other location (although this may constitute a civil rights violation). These are ways to accomplish confinement: • Threats or demands – Facts must point to actual threats: “you must wait until our supervisor arrives” would be insufficient to constitute a threat; but “if you leave, we’ll see that you are prosecuted” may be sufficient.
• Assertion of authority – submission to an officer’s assertion of arrest under colorable legal authority is enough to show confinement • Duress of goods – ex: defendant grabs plaintiff’s wallet and won’t return it and she doesn’t want to leave without it; implicit threat resulting in confinement? Trespass to Land– (1) intentional entry upon the land of another by (a) personal entry; or (b) causing an object to enter the land; or (2) unintentional entry upon land and refusal to leave ? Trespass to land is interference with rights of possession.
In that way, a leaseholder can sue for trespass because there has been an interference with possession; although not necessarily ownership. If there were damage to the property, however, both the leaseholder and the lessor could sue because the lessor was subject to interference with rights of ownership Conversion – intent to exercise substantial dominion over another’s chattel by depriving the chattel from its rightful owner; converter does not need to be conscious of wrongdoing This is interference with rights of ownership. The interference must be serious enough to justify imposing liability.
The ALI reviews the following factors: o Extent and duration of control; o Defendant’s intent to assert a right to the property; o Defendant’s good faith; o Harm done; and o Expense or inconvenience caused ? Intent to deprive the rightful owner of his property is enough to demonstrate “dominion and control”. Kelley v. LaForce (police lock a pub owner out of his pub, depriving the owners from their property) ? Defendant does NOT need to be conscious of wrongdoing. Conversion occurs even when defendant reasonably (but mistakenly) believes he has a right to deal with the property.
o A buyer is liable even if he buys in good faith, because the seller does not have title to pass; if the seller does have title and perhaps tricked the rightful owner into selling him the property, defendant is not liable o When a seller has legal transfer power, the buyer isn’t liable for conversion of the stolen property ? Dominion occurs (i) when there is damage to the property; and (ii) when the interference is serious enough to justify imposing liability (as above) ? Recovery for conversion is the market value of the chattel at the time of the conversion PLAINTIFF TOOLS.
Substantial certainty that harm will result satisfies intent. ? Must have knowledge with substantial certainty that harmful or offensive contact will result, even if there is no purpose to cause harm. Garratt v. Dailey (a boy pulls a chair out from under a woman) (intent rule: purpose or knowledge with substantial certainty that a result will occur) (there is no separate rule for children committing intentional torts).
Transferred intent doctrine – If D intends to harm another, he is deemed to have the required intent if another intentional tort results or if any other person happens to be injured. Transferred intent does not apply to IIMD. Thin skull doctrine – D “takes the P as he finds him. ” D responsible for harm to P due to P’s vulnerability. DEFENSES Consent is (1) agreement, approval or permission (2) as to some act or purpose (2) given by a competent person. Consent can be expressed or implied from conduct, custom, prior relationship or circumstances. Only objective manifestations of consent matter. Consent is not effective if the scope of that consent is exceeded.
Consent is not effective if (1) a person lacks capacity to give consent and (2) the other person knows of the incapacity. Informed consent requires a person to have full knowledge of risks involved and alternatives. Consent can be implied in emergency situations to save an individual’s life from immediate, serious harm. Self defense – A person is privileged to use (1) reasonable force (2) to prevent harmful or offensive conduct or false imprisonment. Apparent necessity: No actual threat need exist if the person has a reasonable belief based on the circumstances.
Defense of others – A person is privileged to use (1) reasonable force (2) to defend another person against harmful or offensive contact or false imprisonment. Courts are split regarding mistake as to apparent necessity. Defense of property – A person is privileged to use (1) reasonable force (2) to defend his or her property. A request to desist is required before using force, unless it reasonably appears harm will occur immediately or that the warning will be useless. A person is allowed reasonable mistake as to danger, but not about whether the intruder has the right to be on the property.
A person may use a mechanical device to protect property only if they would be privileged to use a similar degree of force if actually present. Recapture of chattel – A property owner is privileged to use (1) reasonable force (2) during fresh pursuit (3) to recover possession of chattels wrongfully taken. Requires a timely request to return. In some jurisdictions, merchants may (1) temporarily detain (2) a person reasonably believed to have stolen property (3) for investigation (limited to a short time).
Public necessity – A person is privileged to (1) interfere with property of another (2) when necessary to prevent a disaster to the community or to many people. No compensation has to be paid by person doing the damage. Private necessity – A person is privileged to (1) interfere with property of another (2) to prevent harm to themselves or their property or third persons when (3) no less damaging way of preventing the harm exists. However, the person must pay for actual damages. DEFENDANT TOOLS Reasonable force – Only force required for protection may be used.
No retaliation or use against mere provocation. Deadly force can only be used if D is in danger of death or serious bodily harm. Some jurisdictions require retreat, if reasonable, before the use of deadly force. TORTS – NEGLIGENCE PRIMA FACIE A person is liable for negligence when (1) he has a duty of care and (2) breaches that duty (3) causing (4) harm to another.
Duty of care involves two questions: Generally, legal duty is the duty of reasonable care, which is the care a reasonable, prudent person would have under the same circumstances. Factors considered subjectively include (a) physical disability; (b) sudden seizures; (c) child age and experience; (d) emergencies; and (e) superior knowledge or ability. Factors not considered include (a) mental characteristics; (b) intoxication; and (c) child acts that are of an adult nature. Breach of duty occurs when a person fails to conform to the duty of care and imposes an unreasonable risk of harm to others. A risk is unreasonable if it fails the balancing test: B.