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Torts
Rutgers University, Newark School of Law
Latin, Howard A.

INTENTIONAL TORTS
PRIMA FACIE CASE
• ACT
1. Voluntary
a. Non-accidental physical muscular movement
2. Failure to act when there is a legal duty
• INTENT
1. Deliberate and purposeful state of mind or knowledge with substantial certainty that consequences would result from act
a. Distinguished from Negligence, which requires a foreseeable risk which a reasonable person would avoid
b. Knowledge with substantial certainty requires knowledge of more than a possibility of the consequence resulting
2. Includes transferred intent
a. Example: Person A shoots a gun at Person B, intending to harm Person B, but the bullet hits Person C instead. Person A is liable to Person C for the intentional tort of Battery
b. Alternative Example: With five torts (battery, assault, false imprisonment, trespass, trespass to chattels), if Person A intends to commit tort with respect to Person B, but commits a different tort with respect to Person B, Person A is liable for second tort even though intent was that required to commit first tort
• CAUSATION
1. Distinguished from negligence in that causation need not be specifically proven
• DAMAGES
1. Nominal available
2. Generally, greater liability imposed for acts intending to invade another’s rights than for acts in disregard of consequences

TORTS TO PERSONS
• BATTERY
1. Harmful or offensive contact judged by reasonable person standard
a. Physical invasion of victim’s person or something so connected to victim ‘s person that it is customarily regarded as part of person
2. No actual injury required
a. Taking indecent liberties without consent such as a slap on the buttocks
i. May be used as alternative pleading in sexual harassment case
3. Damages
a. Victim entitled to nominal damages and compensation for resulting mental disturbance
b. Punitive damages can be awarded except where Defendant has defense of mistake of fact
• ASSAULT
1. Reasonable apprehension of immediate harmful or offensive contact
a. Apparent ability to cause harm is sufficient
b. Mental invasion of victim’s peace of mind
2. Requirement of overt act
a. Words coupled with conduct
3. No proof of harm required
4. Damages available are same as for Battery
• FALSE IMPRISONMENT
1. Act or omission of confinement to bounded area
a. Restraint must be against victim’s will
i. Voluntary submission negates imprisonment
2. Awareness of confinement or injury resulting from confinement
a. Not bounded if aware/of reasonable means of escape
3. Length of time period immaterial
4. Damage
a. Compensation for resulting losses, including physical and mental damages, special and consequential damages, and maybe punitive damages
• INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS
1. Act of extreme and outrageous conduct
a. Special duty of common carriers and innkeepers to patrons (insulting remark considered outrageous)
b. Known sensitivity (young children, pregnant women, supe

ed by silence and inaction where a reasonable person would speak if s/he objected to intentional interference
1. Example: No consent where reasonable person would object to high risk experimental medical procedure
2. Not valid if induced by fraud
a. Must go to essential matter which makes it harmful rather than collateral matter which serves as an inducement for consent
i. Example: Essential matter – Patient consents to treatment; collateral matter – Doctor is not licensed to practice medicine
3. Capacity required
a. Unavailable if consenting person is incompetent, intoxicated, or young child
• SELF-DEFENSE
1. Reasonable belief as to apparent necessity
2. Force reasonably proportionate to the harm threatened
• DEFENSE OF OTHERS
1. Available when victim has privilege of self-defense
2. Limited to use of force reasonably necessary
• DEFENSE OF PROPERTY
1. Limited to preventing commission of tort
a. Exception: “Hot pursuit ”
2. Reasonable belief as to apparent necessity
3. Reasonable use of force permissible
a. Use of deadly force unavailable unless personal safety is threatened
4. Use of deadly mechanical devices is impermissible