I. INTENTIONAL INTERFERENCE WITH THE PERSON
A. Meaning of Intent
i. “Intent” means the actor desires to cause consequences of his act, or is substantially certain consequences will result from action.
ii. Substantial Certainty: Just about as certain as one can be (99%)
1. Substantial certainty is a question of fact to be determined by the finder of fact.
2. Is the sun still burning? — Level of certainty
iii. To prove intent: Evidence
1. Circumstances—acts leading up to event
2. Communication—oral, written, other.
B. Types of Intent
i. An actor is liable to another for battery if (Restatement 2nd)
1. Battery: Definition
Person acts intending to cause harmful or offensive contact with the person or third party, or an imminent apprehension (perception) of such an act, and an offensive contact with the person occurs.
a. No court disagrees with the fact there must be contact to equal a battery.
b. Harmful and offensive contact is not mutually exclusive.
c. Person must be aware of harmful nature.
i. E.g. If person pinches bottoms and thinks it is funny and truly believes others enjoy this act—is not liable because he lacks intent to cause harmful or offensive contact.
“A“ is standing on a balcony. Bets he can drop a full can oaf beer from balcony w/o hitting anyone in the crowded street below. “B” gets hit with the can of beer. Is there battery?
a. There was no intentional contact.
b. “A” believes no substantial chance of hitting anyone.
c. No Offensive Contact ($18 in restatement of torts)
d. Need to establish “A” was intending to do to prove battery. “Reasonable Doubt” is a valid test for establishing this point.
i. Actions of Defendant:
May have said something to indicate Intent prior to dropping can.
May have done something to indicate Intent prior to dropping can.
Bob experiments with LSD and begins to hallucinate. Mr. “A” approaches him, but Bob thinks “A” is a 10’ tall cockroach instead. Bob strikes “A” with a board thinking “A” was a cockroach. Is Bob liable for battery?
a. No, since “cockroach” is not a person, Bob is not liable for battery
b. Even though Bob did hit “A” intentionally, in his mind thought he was striking a bug instead
c. Not liable for hitting (or thinking you are) a non-person if present state of mind distorts perception.
iv. Offensive Contact: Two Views
1. Garrat v. Dailey: Boy in pulls chair out from under an old lady. She suffers back injury.
a. Majority rule à Ignorance of whether or not act is “offensive” not relevant as long as contact was intended
b. Intent to pull chair out whether or not Δ intended contact to be offensive is not relevant because he intended the contact.
c. Plaintiff felt it was offensive (broken hip).
d. New Rule Established: Questions to ask
i. Is the contact offensive? (nature of contact)
ii. Did the defendant intend contact?
1. Even if Δ did not I intend this act as offensive, if it is found to be offensive, and
2. Δ intended the contact, then
3. Defendant is liable. (no intent still = battery)
e. Minority Rule (Restatement View) contended that the intent to pull chair out was not intended to be offensive.
i. Boy too young to understand this may be considered offensive.
ii. Intent to pull chair out was not intended to be offensive.
i. Person on the bus reaches over and taps lady on shoulder who has very sensitive skin and this causes pain.
1. Vosburg: Not a battery because the contact was not offensive.
2. Restatement: Not a battery because actor did not intend to cause offensive contact.
ii. Actor thinks slugging person real hard in the arm is funny. Actor slugs someone.
1. Vosburg: Battery. Regardless of actor’s intent the contact was offensive and Δ intended the contact.
2. Restatement: Not a battery. Actor did not intend to cause offensive contact, thought it was funny.
g. Both Restatement and Vosburg agree on the necessity of intent for harmful contact.
h. Insanity is not a defense to the intentional tort.
i. Unless it negates one of the elements of the tort of battery.
ii. E.g. Person strikes another person thinking the person is a flesh-eating alien—lack of intent to cause harmful contact to a person.
iii. Whether people can control themselves or not does not matter—still liable.
v. An actor is liable to another for assault if
1. MAJORITY VIEW – He intentionally creates in the mind of another or a third person the reasonable apprehension of an imminent battery.
a. Imminent: Means very close at hand—decided by trier of fact. If not imminent could be avoided.
b. Apprehension: To perceive
c. Reasonable requirement screens out merit less claims.
d. To assault must prove intent (desire or substantially certain that consequences will result) and the plaintiff must be placed in apprehension.
e. Layman’s terms: Must desire to cause the other person to perceive they are about to be the subject of a battery.
2. MINORITY VIEW – Restatement View: Excludes reasonable Qualifier.
a. Intentionally creating in the mind of another or 3rd person the apprehension of an imminent battery.
b. Just has to be actual apprehension
c. Still liable for damages and compensation.
3. Other Qualifications:
a. “Mere words:” Words alone cannot constitute an
IV. Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
§46 Outrageous Conduct Causing Severe Emotional Distress
(1) Actor who by extreme and outrageous conduct intentionally or recklessly causes severe emotional distress to another is subject to liability for such emotional distress, and if bodily harm to the other results from it, for such bodily harm intentionally or recklessly causes emotional distress.
(2) Where such conduct is directed at a third person, the actor is subject to liability if he intentionally or recklessly causes severe emotional distress.
a. To a member of such person’s immediate family who is present at the time, whether or not such distress results in bodily harm, or
b. To any other person who is present at the time, if such distress results in bodily harm
V. Trespass to Chattel
Trespass of Chattel – there must be damage to the chattel in order to recover remedies.
(1) The only defense to trespass to Chattel is permission to use chattel
a. Actual consent – The willingness in fact for conduct of another to occur.
b. Apparent consent – A” reasonable belief” the consent that defendant believed plaintiff had granted consent (although it may not actually have been granted).
(2) A trespass to a chattel may be committed by intentionally
a. Disposing another of the chattel, OR
b. Using or intermeddling with a chattel in the possession of another.
1. Conversion is an intentional exercise of dominion or control over a chattel which seriously interferes with the right of another to control it that the actor may justly be required to pay the other the full value of the chattel.
2. In determining the seriousness of the interference and the justice of requiring the actor to pay the other the full value, the following factors are important:
a. The extent and duration of the actor’s exercise of dominion or control;
b. The actor’s intent to assert a right in fact inconsistent with the other’s right of control.
c. The actor’s good faith
d. The extent and duration of the resulting interference with the other’s right of control;
e. The harm done to the chattel;
f. The inconvenience and expense caused to the other.
a. Consent: Negates harm done by tort that it is supposed to protect against. (Definition)—if you could see into individual’s mind could easily establish content.
i. Actual Consent: Proven by:
1. What is said: verbal
2. What is done: physical actions
ii. Invalidating Circumstances- “A” gives consent given to a particular act. Mental incapacity can invalidate consent
1. Age – minor