Assault – Definition & Elements • A defendant is liable for assault when his actions intentionally cause the victim’s reasonable apprehension of imminent harmful or offensive contact • Plaintiff must prove three things : 1. intent by defendant 2. reasonable apprehension 3. of imminent contact (harmful or offensive)
Tort Law vs. Criminal Law: - Apprehension is the key - No tortious assault unless victim suffers apprehension of immediate contact - Ex.) Joe swings a bat at Luke’s head while Luke is looking the other way. - Potentially a criminal assault - Not a tortious assault because Luke did not know Joe was swinging the bat and, therefore did not have an apprehension of immediate harmful contact
I de S. & Wife v. W. de S , At the Assizes, 1348. Y. B. Lib Assessonum, folio 99, 60 placitum: (not in book) • Wine and hatchets
• Cullison v. Medley , (p.46) • “A jury could reasonably conclude that the Medleys intended to frighten Cullison by surrounding him in his trailer and threatening him with bodily harm while one of them was armed with a revolver, even if that revolver was not removed from  its holster. Cullison testified that Ernest kept grabbing at the pistol as if he were going to take it out, and that Cullison thought Ernest was going to shoot him.”
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- Spring '08
- assault, additional things