I. Issues in Intentional Torts

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rubidoux
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128926
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I. Issues in Intentional Torts
Updated:
2012-02-22 14:49:14
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torts intentional
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issues in intentional torts
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  1. ACT
    volitional movement on defendant's part
  2. INTENT
    The relevant intent: to bring about the consequences that are the basis for the tort. The injury need not be intended.
  3. TRANSFERRED INTENT
    The intent to commit a tort against one person is transferred to the other tort or to the injured person for purposes of establishing a prima facie case.

    • Transferred intent can be invoked only where both torts are within this list:
    • -- assault;
    • -- battery;
    • -- false imprisonment;
    • -- trespass to land;
    • -- trespass to chattels.
  4. CAUSATION
    The result giving rise to liability must have been legally caused by defendant's act or something set in motion thereby. Satisfied where the conduct of defendant is a substantial factor in bringing about the injury.
  5. BATTERY: ELEMENTS
    1. An ACT by defendant which brings about harmful or offensive contact to the plaintiff's person;

    2. INTENT on the part of the defendant to bring about harmful or offensive contact to the plaintiff's person; and

    3. CAUSATION.

    ---------------

    No damages must be proven and plaintiff can often recover nominal damages even where there is no real damage.

    If MALICE is proven, plaintiff may recover punitive damages.
  6. BATTERY: HARMFUL OR OFFENSIVE CONTACT TO THE PLAINTIFF'S PERSON
    Judged by whether it would be construed as harmful or offensive by a reasonable person of ordinary sensibilities.

    Contact is deemed offensive if plaintiff has not expressly or impliedly consented to it.

    "To plaintiff's person" includes anything connected to the plaintiff's person.
  7. ASSAULT: ELEMENTS
    1. An ACT by defendant creating a reasonable apprehension in plaintiff of immediate harmful or offensive contact to plaintiff's person;

    2. INTENT on the part of the defendant to bring about in the plaintiff apprehension of immediate harmful or offensive contact with the plaintiff's person; and

    3. CAUSATION.

    --------------------

    No damages must be proven and plaintiff can often recover nominal damages even where there is no real damage.

    If MALICE is proven, plaintiff may recover punitive damages.
  8. ASSAULT: APPREHENSION
    The apprehension must be reasonable. Courts normally apply a reasonable person test.

    Plaintiff need not fear or feel intimidated. Apprehension is an expectation.

    Apprehension must be of an IMMEDIATE harmful or offensive contact.
  9. ASSAULT: ACT
    Words alone generally do not suffice as an act. May be enough with some overt act, such as clenching of fists. Must cause a reasonable apprehension.
  10. FALSE IMPRISONMENT: ELEMENTS
    1. An ACT or OMISSION to act on the part of the defendant that confines or restrains the plaintiff to a bounded area;

    2. INTENT on the part of the defendant to confine or restrain the plaintiff; and

    • 3. CAUSATION.
    • _______________

    Damages need not be proven to sustain prima facie case.

    MALICE may make plaintiff entitled to punative damages.
  11. FALSE IMPRISONMENT:
    CONFINEMENT OR RESTRAINT
    May result where plaintiff is restrained by the use of physical force or direct threats of physical force directed at him or his immediate family or against plaintiff's property.

    May result from acts or words that reasonably imply that the defendant will use force against plaintiff's person or property or persons of plaintiff's immediate family.

    May result from use of physical barriers.

    May result from failure to provide means of escape with the intent to detain plaintiff if legal duty is owed.

    • May result from the invalid use of legal authority.
    • ____________________

    Moral pressure is not enough.

    Future threats are not enough.
  12. FALSE IMPRISONMENT:
    INVALID USE OF LEGAL AUTHORITY -- FALSE ARREST
    A felony arrest without a warrant by a police officer is valid if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a felony has been committed and that the person arrested has committed it.

    An arrest by a private person will be privileged only if a felony has in fact been committed and the private person has a reasonable grounds for believing that the person arrested has committed it.

    Misdemeanor arrests are privileged for both cops and private citizens when the misdemeanor was a breach of the peace and was committed in the presence of the arresting party.

    Where a felony or breach of the peace is in the process or reasonably appears to be about to be committed, arrest is privilege for cops and private citizens.
  13. ARREST: AMOUNT OF FORCE ALLOWED
    For felony arrest, arresting party may use the force necessary to make the arrest; deadly force permissible only when suspect poses a threat of serious harm to the arresting party or to others.

    For misdemeanor arrests, only that degree of force necessary to effect the arrest, but never deadly force.
  14. FALSE IMPRISONMENT:
    SHOPKEEPERS' PRIVILEGE
    Shopkeepers have privilege to detain for investigation if:

    -- there is a reasonable belief as to the fact of theft;

    -- the detention is conducted in a reasonable manner/only non-deadly force is used; and

    -- only for a reasonable period of time and only for the purpose of investigation.
  15. FALSE IMPRISONMENT:
    BOUNDED AREA
    The area is not bounded if there is a reasonable means of escape of which plaintiff is aware.
  16. INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS: ELEMENTS
    1. An ACT by defendant amounting to extreme and outrageous conduct;

    2. INTENT on part of defendant to cause plaintiff to suffer severe emotional distress, or recklessness as to the effect of defendant's conduct;

    3. CAUSATION; and

    4. DAMAGES -- severe emotional distress.
  17. INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS:

    EXTREME AND OUTRAGEOUS CONDUCT
    Covers those situations where the defendant intentionally shocks the plaintiff but there's no physical injury or threat thereof.

    Outrageous conduct must be proved: Outrageous conduct is conduct that transcends all bounds of decency tolerated by society.

    Offensive or insulting language is not outrageous conduct.

    Common carriers and innkeepers owe special duties to patrons which may be the basis for liability even where act was less than outrageous conduct.

    Where there is a known sensitivity, bar may be lower.
  18. INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS:
    TO THIRD PARTY
    1. plaintiff was present when the injury occurred to the other person;

    2. plaintiff was a close relative of the injured person; and

    3. the defendant knew that the plaintiff was present and a close relative of the injured person.
  19. EED: MISHANDLING OF A CORPSE
    Recovery where mental distress resulted from the intentional or reckless mishandling of a relative's corpse.
  20. EED: DAMAGES
    Not necessary to prove physical injuries to recover. Must establish SEVERE EMOTIONAL DISTRESS -- more than a reasonable person could be expected to endure.

    Punitive damages are allowable where defendant's conduct was improperly motivated.
  21. TRESPASS TO LAND: ELEMENTS
    1. An ACT of physical invasion of plaintiff's real property by defendant;

    2. INTENT on defendant's part to bring about a physical invasion of plaintiff's real property; and

    • 3. CAUSATION.
    • ___________________

    Damage is presumed, no actual injury to the land is essential.
  22. TRESPASS TO LAND: PHYSICAL INVASION
    Not necessary that defendant physically come onto the land, enough if plaintiff floods land, throws rocks onto it, or chases third persons onto it.

    Trespass may occur on the surface or above or below the land.

    A trespass to land may also exist where defendant remains on plaintiff's land after an otherwise lawful right of entry has lapsed.
  23. TRESPASS TO LAND: INTENT
    Mistake as to lawfulness of entry is no defense as long as defendant intended to enter onto that particular piece of land. Intent to trespass not necessary, only intent to enter onto the land is required.
  24. TRESPASS TO LAND: WHO HAS STANDING TO BRING SUIT?
    Anyone who has actual or constructive possession of the land, even if they are without title.
  25. TRESPASS TO CHATTELS: ELEMENTS
    1. An ACT of defendant that interferes with plaintiff's right of possession in the chattel;

    2. INTENT to perform the act;

    3. CAUSATION; and

    4. DAMAGES.
  26. TRESPASS TO CHATTELS: ACT
    Two forms of interference.

    Intermeddling -- conduct by defendant that serves to directly damage plaintiff's chattels (ie, denting car).

    Disposession -- conduct on defendant's part serving to dispossess plaintiff of his lawful right of possession.
  27. TRESPASS TO CHATTELS: DAMAGES
    There must be actual damages. However, if the trespass amounts to dispossession, the loss of possession itself is deemed to be an actual harm.
  28. TRESPASS TO CHATTELS and CONVERSION

    DISTINGUISHED
    Conversion grants relief for interferences with a chattel so serious in nature, or so serious in consequences, as to warrant requiring the defendant to pay its full value in damages. For those interferences not so serious in nature or consequences, trespass to chattels is the appropriate action.
  29. CONVERSION: ELEMENTS
    1. An ACT by defendant interfering with plaintiff's right of possession in the chattel that is serious enough in nature or consequence to warrant that the defendant pay the full value of the chattel;

    2. INTENT to perform the act bringing about the interference with plaintiff's right of possession; and

    3. CAUSATION.
  30. CONVERSION: INTENT
    The only intent required is the intent to perform the act that interferes with the plaintiff's right of possession.

    -- Under this principle, even a bona fide purchaser of chattel may become a converter if the chattel had been stolen from the true owner.

    -- Accidentally causing damage to or loss of another's chattel does not amount to conversion unless the actor may be liable in negligence for accidental damage.
  31. CONVERSION: ACT
    The longer the withholding period and the more extensive the use of the chattel during this time, the more likely it is that conversion has resulted.
  32. CONVERSION:

    BAILEES RECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY
    If the bailee has notice of the theft and the real owner makes a demand for his goods, the bailee is liable for conversion if she returns the goods to the theif.
  33. CONVERSION: SUBJECT MATTER
    Must be personal property or intangibles that have been reduced to physical form; no intangibles or real property.
  34. CONVERSION: REMEDIES
    -- DAMAGES -- Plaintiff is entitled to damages for the fair market value of the chattel, as of the time and place of the conversion. Even if defendant wishes to return the item, plaintiff is not obligated to take it back and may demand damages.

    -- REPLEVIN -- If the plaintiff wishes to have the chattel returned, he may get it by availing himself of the remedy of replevin.

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