BLAW 280 assault - ASSAULT, BATTERY AND FALSE IMPRISONMENT...

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ASSAULT, BATTERY AND FALSE IMPRISONMENT ASSAULT is an intentional tort. The elements of the prima facie case are as follows: Act by Defendant Intent Causation Apprehension of Imminent Bodily Harm ACT BY DEFENDANT The defendant must have taken some sort of action – he or she must have done something. EXAMPLE: John fired a handgun at Mary; firing the gun is an act by the defendant. EXAMPLE: John said to Mary: “I will kill you now”. Words spoken by the defendant are an act by the defendant. INTENT The defendant must have acted intentionally or voluntarily . EXAMPLE: John was sleepwalking; he fired a gun at Mary. This is NOT intentionally. EXAMPLE: John, wide awake, fired a gun at Mary. This IS intentional. Unless it is clear that the act was not done intentionally, it is normally assumed that the defendant’s acts were indeed done with intent. EXAMPLE: A group of terrorists decided to kill the Tsar for political reasons. They threw a bomb and the royal carriage. The Tsar was
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not injured, but one of his bodyguards was killed. Did the terrorists act with INTENT in killing the guard? YES. This is called transferred intent . The terrorists intended to kill the Tsar; they killed the guard instead. Legally the terrorists are held to have intended the death of the guard. EXAMPLE: Robert fired a gun intending to wound Lucas. Robert missed Lucas; the shot hit Mary. Legally Robert intended to hit Mary. CAUSATION The act of the defendant must be the cause of the apprehension of imminent bodily harm. The test for causation is the “ but-for rule” . In other words “but for the actions of the defendant, the apprehension of harm would not have occurred”. APPREHENSION OF IMMINENT BODILY HARM The act of the defendant must have caused the plaintiff to believe that bodily harm might immediately occur. EXAMPLE: John pointed a gun at Lucy and said: “I’m going to shoot you”. This is assault. EXAMPLE: Robert pointed a gun at Linda. Even without threatening words this is assault. EXAMPLE:
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BLAW 280 assault - ASSAULT, BATTERY AND FALSE IMPRISONMENT...

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