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University of Illinois School of Law
Hurd, Heidi M.

Intentional Torts: Prima Facie Case for Liability
Actus Reus àinfliction of a non conscented and unprivileged harmful or offensive contact directed to another person.
Bodily Harm à any physical impairment of the condition of another’s body, or physical pain or illness.
Actual touching by the defendant not required, he could be using a pole to cause the harm. à Battery seeks deterrence from unauthorized contacts.
Offensive Harm à if a reasonable person of ordinary sensibility and dignity finds the contact offensive. Objective Test.
Offensiveness must be considered with the circumstances in which the contact occurred. E.g. sports.
Mens Rea à The intention to produce a contact that is harmful or offensive. It is not required that the Defendant intended the actual harm or offense (consequence), just a contact that results H/O.
Intent generally à it is used to denote that the actor desires to cause consequences of his act, or that he believes that the consequences are substantially certain to result from it.
Damages/Relief à Nominal damages are presumed. Other damages (such as compensatory damages) require to be further proved by the plaintiff.
Trespass to Land:
Actus Reus à the unauthorized entry into the land of another. Trespass can also be configured if the defendant refuses to leave once the authorization to enter expires.
Trespass to real property can take place over the surface or beneath the land’s surface.
Mens Reaàthe intention to physically enter the property.
Very stringent and narrow mens rea à does not look into the intent to cause injury to the property. Almost a strict liability tort.
Damages/Relief à Nominal damages are presumed. Other damages (such as compensatory damages) require to be further proved by the plaintiff.
Trespass to Chattels:
Actus Reus à the intermeddling or interfering with the use of articles of personal property of another.
In order to establish liability against the defendant, his conduct must affect some important/ materially valuable interest of the possessor; or he has been deprived of the chattel for a substantial time.
Mens Reaà the intention to physically affect the use of another’s personal property. Like Trespass to Land, it has a very stringent –almost strict liability- mens rea requirement.
Damages/Relief à some actual injury to the chattel or to the legal interest of the possessor is required in order for relief to be granted.
Actus Reusà wrongful possession or disposition of another’s property as if it were one’s own.
Interference with the right of another over property where the rightful owner is deprived of the use an possession of the property.
Mens Rea à the intentional exercise of dominion or control over the chattel as if the defendant is the rightful owner.
Damages/Relief à the defendant must pay the full value of the goods taken, regardless of whether he kept any proceeds from their disposition.
Defenses to Intentional Torts:
Notionàaffirmative defense against intentional tort liability in which voluntary approval, acceptance or permission to perform a certain act has been given by a person to another.
Volenti non fit injuria à to the willing, no wrong is done.
Types of Consent:
Express Consent à consent that is clearly and unmistakably stated.
Express consent can be either spoken or written.
Implied Consent àconsent that can be interpreted contextually from actions, gestures or conduct as an expression of assent.
Implied in Law àconsent that is presumed as a matter of law. Case of medical treatment in emergency situations.
Substituted Consentàa person entitles another to take a decision on his behalf. Typically the case ofa guardian who has to make a decision for a ward (the subject is incompetent to make a decision for whatever reasons). It is also possible to have substituted consent when a POA is given.
Scope of Consent à What are the limits to the consent given by the plaintiff?
Must be analyzed in each individual case. However, consent to one form of contact, harm or risk will not be treated as consent to a second and distinct harm or risk.
Responses to Consent à Even if the plaintiff has consented to the physical contact, she may still be entitled to relief if said consent was obtained in an improper fashion.

Deadly Force à the Defendant may not use deadly force unless is himself in danger of death or serious bodily harm.
Defendant should use deadly force only as a last resource to prevent the harm.
Rules of Self Defense in Private Dwelling:
The general rules of self defense apply in the case the defendant is attacked in his own dwelling.
The homeowner should preferably use the least harmful way of disposing of the threat.
However, he may use deadly force if he reasonably thinks that he will be attacked or that by shooting the attacker he will stop the harm.
Defense of Others:
Under common law, a person has the right to use reasonable force to defend a member of his own family against attack or harm. Nowadays, the rule is extended to complete strangers.
Rules on the degree of force are the same as the ones for self defense.
In some cases liability can be established against the defendant if the third person helped was not privileged.
Defense of Property:
General Rule: there is a privilege to defend one’s property on essentially the same terms as the right to defend oneself.
Reasonable force à only as much force as is necessary to protect the property.
Duty to use words à the owner must first make a verbal demand that the intruder stop before using force, unless the request seems useless.
Deadly force not allowed à the owner can never use more force than reasonably necessary, and does not have a general right to use deadly force.
Exceptions in cases of burglary to dwelling place:
The privilege is valid only if the homeowner reasonably believes that use of force will safely keep the burglar out.
If the expulsion of the intruder would seriously injure him, the defendant may be liable for