Paralegal Essentials – Tort Law (Part 2 – Assault and Battery)

Certain torts are often thought of together.  A good example are the torts of  assault and battery.  These two torts are related because an assault which goes too far becomes a battery.  Every battery does not necessarily include an assault, but many do

Assault – any intentional act that causes another to reasonably fear imminent (immediate) harmful or offensive contact

Consider the elements required:

  1. Intent (actor must intend the act which causes the assault)
  2. Causation (the act must be the cause of the fear)
  3. Reasonableness (the fear must be reasonable)
  4. Imminent (the fear must be of contact that is about to occur)
  5. Harmful or offensive (the contact feared must be either harmful or offensive)

Battery – any intentional act that causes harmful or offensive physical contact to another.

Consider the elements required:

  1. Intent (actor must intend the act which causes the contact)
  2. Causation (the act must cause the contact)
  3. Harmful or offensive (the contact must be either harmful or offensive)

There are defenses to assault and battery which include:

  • Consent
  • Self-defense (exercise of reasonable force to repel an attack upon one’s person)
  • Defense of others (use of reasonable force to defend or protect a 3rd person from injury who is being threatened by an attacking force)
  • Defense of property (use of reasonable force to protect property from damage or dispossession when another person attempts to injure or wrongfully take possession of property)
  1. Intent (actor must intend the act which causes the assault)
  2. Causation (the act must be the cause of the fear)
  3. Reasonableness (the fear must be reasonable)
  4. Imminent (the fear must be of contact that is about to occur)
  5. Harmful or offensive (the contact feared must be either harmful or offensive)Th
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