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Torts
John Marshall Law School, Chicago
Hopkins, Kevin L.

Hopkins Torts Fall 2010
 
INTENTIONAL TORTS
 
Battery:
·         Intent
·         Purpose or knows to a substantial certainty
·         Offensive or harmful contact occurs
·         P doesn’t have to be aware
·         No contact, no battery (but remember Fisher and Rita (Garrett)
·         Defenses: Consent, Justification, Self-Defense, Defense of Others
 
Assault
·         Intent
·         Apprehension in P (awareness obviously needed)
·         Immediate harmful or offensive contact to P’s person (no future acts/too far away)
·         Apparent Ability by D (not actual, just has to seem like it from P’s pt of view) (D pts an unloaded gun at P)
·         D’s identity not required
·         Words alone/may negate assault (but words with overt act may be ok)
·         No actual damages needed
·         Defenses: Consent, Justification, Self-Defense, Defense of Others
 
False Imprisonment
·         Intentional restraint/confinement (physical force and barriers; purse left behind) of P (or member of immediate family)
·         Fixed bounded area
·         No reasonable means to escape
·         P is aware; exception: person confined is injured by confinement or where the P doesn’t have recollection of the confinement
·         Indirect threats of force
·         No moral or future threats will give rise to a FI COA
·         Time immaterial
·         No actual damages needed
·         Defenses: Consent, Justification, Self-Defense, Defense of Others, Shopkeeper’s Privilege, Police Officer’s Arrest with/without a Warrant
 
IIED
·         Intentional or reckless conduct by D
·         Extreme and outrageous conduct by D (transcends all bounds of decency)
·         Causation (D’s conduct must have caused P’s emotional distress)
·         Damages required – Severe emotional distress
·         Offensive or insulting language not outrageous conduct
·         Common carriers/innkeepers owe special duties to their patrons (maybe liability even when conduct is less than “outrageous”)
·         IIED in bystander cases : P present when injury occurred and D knew P was present
·         Physical manifestations not necessary but they do help
·         Defenses: Consent, Justification
Trespass to Land
·         Intentional unauthorized entry upon the land (intent to trespass not required – just intent to enter on the land)
·         Land of another/possessor
·         No damages necessary (intentionally bouncing tennis ball on someone’s garage – trespass; damages are presumed); Exception: invisible particles coming onto land – have to see actual damages (paint chipping off of house, etc.)
·         Interest protected by this tort: exclusive possession of realty
·         D remains on P’s land after an otherwise lawful right of entry has expired (stakes on land after winter – kills P after going over them with his lawnmower)
·         Land: on surface, below it, or above it (height/depth: space in which the P can make beneficial use of it)
·         Mistake is not a defense
·         Can have both trespass and nuisance COA
·         Defenses: Consent, Justification, Defense of Property (e.g. use of force), Necessity (Public/Private)
 
Trespass to Chattels
·         Intentional intermeddling (physical contact) with chattel
·         Chattel of another  (owner or possessor)
·         Damages (need just one of these along with the above bullet pts): impaired value, deprived use of the chattel for a substantial amount of time, bodily harm to the possessor of the chattel or something that the owner has a legally protected interest in
·         Damages required
·         Mistake no defense
·         Electronic signals okay
·         Damage awards: difference of chattel from original form and what it is after
·         Minor, non-serious/substantial physical  interference with possession of chattels
·         Defenses: Consent, Justification, Recapture of Chattels (e.g. use of force), Shopkeeper’s Privilege, Necessity (Public/Private)
 
Conversion
·         An act that would constitute an intentional exercise of dominion and control over his personal ppty
·         Whatever the act was results in severe interference with the possession of the chattel
·         Can’t have both T/C and Conversion
·          If interested in keeping the chattel – never conversion (P gets full value of chattel at the day and time it was converted – no recovery for sentiment alone; D gets chattel)
·         Ways an actor can convert a chattel: Steal, Damage/Alter it, Use, Receive, Dispose, Misdelivering, refuse to give it back
·         Mistake/benefit – no defense
·         Refuses to return when asked or alters it – bc action so seriously interferes with another’s chattel rights  (dominion and control) or
·         Longer the withholding period and the more extensive the use of the chattel during this time – more likely a conversion
·         Substantial interference with the possession of chattels
·         Defenses: Consent, Justification, Necessity (Public/Private)
Transferred Intent/Writ of Trespass: Alley Beat Fred Two Times
·         Assault
·         Battery
·         False Imprisonment
·         Trespass to

l  – life prevails (E.g. Katko v. Briney)
 
Recovery of Property (Privileges that protect chattels)
·         One is entitled to use force to recover personal property: this privilege has to be exercised promptly – Fresh Pursuit (prompt discovery – prompt action);  ability to fight your way to possession (probably after 24 hours – police should get involved) (E.g. getting a stove back)
·         Without unnecessary violence (seller should stop at the point there might be harm or serious injury) to the person and w/o creating a breach of the peace
·         SHOPKEEPER’S PRIVILEGE: Merchant has the ability to use force when they detain you when they reasonably believe that their ppty has been taken from them; for a reasonable investigation (beyond 1 hr = unreasonable; maybe even 15 minutes if you can’t figure out what’s going on, should let the person go)
o    Limits of SK’s privilege: iffy when going on another’s ppty (Macy’s to Borders) but parking lot probably okay
 
 
 
 
Necessity
·         Privilege that allows one to use, destroy, damage, or trespass upon real ppty or personal ppty of another to protect against a danger to the public or to protect against an imminent threat of harm or danger. 
·         Public (for the public good – shooting a rabid dog) (lots of pple at risk)
·         Private (benefits any person or any property) (must pay for any damages)
 
Authority of Law
·         Police may have the ability to detain or arrest you; warrant or not warrant
 
Discipline
·         A parent or teacher may use reasonable force in disciplining children; military has the ability to discipline its members thru imprisonment
 
Justification
·         Last resort
·         Privilege that allows a person to act and do something when none of the other privileges or defenses apply and under the circumstances it would be unfair to hold this person liable for injury
·         Generic grab bag designation; (E.g. Bus driver not a parent, isn’t the true owner of the bus, can’t protect the ppty, no self defense and the rest of the privileges don’t work)