Flashcards in Torts 1 - Intentional Torts Deck (46):
General Elements of Intentional Torts
(1) Voluntary Act
(5) Lack of privilege or defense
Acts are not voluntary if they are a product of pure reflex or if the D is unconscious when the act is performed.
(1) D desires that his act will cause the harmful result described by the tort; pr
(2) D knows that is is substantially certain that such a result will occur.
Fact that D is incompetent or a minor does not preclude a finding of intent. But is a factor when deciding if he did have intent.
If D acts with necessary intent to inflict certain intentional torts, but for some reason causes injury to a different victim than intended, the D's intent is transferred to the actual victim.
Intentional act that causes a harmful or offensive contact with the P or with something closely connected to the P.
Battery - Elements
(1) Intent to contact.
(2) Harmful or offensive contact.
(3) With a person or something closely connect to that person.
Harmful or Offensive Contact
If the contact would inflict pain or impairment of any body function, or if a reasonable person would regard it as offensive. P need not be aware of contact.
Intentional act that causes the P to experience a reasonable apprehension of an immediate harmful or offensive contact.
Assault - Elements
(1) Intent to create apprehension
(2) Reasonable Apprehension
(3) Of imminent battery
Reasonable person in the same position as the P would have experienced the same apprehension.
Assault - Imminence
The threat of battery has to be imminent.
An intentional act that causes a P to be confined or restrained to a bounded area against the P's will, and the P knows of the confinement or is injured by it.
False Imprisonment - Elements
(3) Against P's Will
(4) P knows of confinement or is injured thereby
P may be confined by the use of physical barriers, by failing to release the P where D has a legal duty to do so, or by the invalid assertion of legal authority. Not confined if there is a reasonable means of escape.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
An intentional or reckless act amounting to extreme and outrageous conduct that causes the P severe mental distress.
IIED - Elements
(1) Intent or recklessness
(2) Extreme or outrageous conduct
(4) Severe emotional distress
IIED - Intent
D must act with intent to cause severe emotional distress or be reckless in creating the risk of emotional distress. i.e. deliberate disregard of a high degree of probability that the emotional distress will follow.
Extreme and Outrageous Conduct
Where the D's conduct is beyond the bounds of decency--conduct that a civilized society will not tolerate.
Offensive or Insulting Language
Generally will not suffice unless where D is a common carrier or innkeeper or D knows P is sensitive to such a thing like elderly, kids, and pregnant people.
Must be substantial, not trivial or transitory. The more outrageous the conduct the easier to prove.
Severe Distress - 3rd Party or Bystander
D can be liable to a P who is an immediate family member or close relative where the P is present at the time and D is aware of P's presence. Or any other P present if such distress results in bodily harm and D was aware of their presence.
Trespass to Land
Intentional act that causes a physical invasion of the P's land.
Trespass to Land - Elements
(1) Intent to enter the land
(3) Plaintiff posseses land
Trespass to Land - Mistake
Mistake is not a defense.
Trespass to Land - Possession
P must be in actual possession of the land. Can be owner, tenant, or even adverse possessor. As long has they have possession.
Trespass to Land - Damages
Nominal damages where no injury is caused. Damages for any harm caused by trespass. Where D acts willfully or maliciously may be liable for punitive damages.
Trespass to Land - Ejectment
(1) Proof of legal title
(2) Proof of P's right to possession
(3) Wrongful possession by D.
Can get person ejected from land and mesne damages for loss of use of land measured by rental value or benefit gained by wrongful possessor.
Trespass to Chattels
Intentional act by the defendant that interferes with the P's chattel, causing harm.
Trespass to Chattels - Elements
(3) P's chattel
Trespass to Chattels - Intent
Intent is satisfied when the D intentionally performs the physical act that interferes with the P's chattel. Mistake is not a defense.
Interference - Dispossession
A direct interference with the P's chattel, such as where a D temporarily takes the P's chattel or wrongfully refuses to return it.
Interference - Intermeddling
Interference that does not directly affect the plaintiff's possession.
Trespass to Chattels - Damages
Requires actual damage including value of loss of use or cost to remedy an intermeddling.
Is an intentional act by a D that causes the destruction of or a serious and substantial interference with the P's chattel.
Conversion - Elements
(2) Dominion and control
(3) Substantial interference/destruction
The exercise by the D of dominion and control over the chattel.
Examples of Conversions
(1) Theft, embezzlement
(2) Selling, misdelivering
(3) Withholding from owner
(4) Loss, destruction , or severe damage
(5) Material alteration
(6) Significant misue
Action at law for the recovery of specific chattels that have been wrongfully taken or detained.
Defenses - Privilege
Privilege may exist where:
(1) The person affected by D's conduct consents to the act
(2) Some important personal or public interest will be protected by the D's ordinarily prohibited conduct, and this interest justifies the harm caused by D
(3) The D must act freely in order to perform an essential function.
Defenses - Consent
Can't exceed scope of consent.
Force must be reasonable and proportionate.
Defendant is acting to protect public from threatened severe harm. No liability for damage to plaintiff's property.
D acting to prevent harm that is substantially greater than the harm that will result from the action normally taken. Still liable for damages.
Has to be reasonable in the circumstances. Mistake is ok.