LAW 122 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Intentional Tort, False Imprisonment, Voyeurism

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25 Apr 2012

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Monday September 26th, 2011
Chapter 4
Intentional Torts
Intentional Torts:
-intention = intention to commit act
no need to prove intention to commit tort
no need to prove intention to cause harm
-Intentional torts
interference with person
assault and battery
invasion of privacy
false imprisonment
trespass to land
interference with chattels
trespass, conversion, detinue
-Defenses to Intentional Torts
Complete defence
Partial defence
-protection of personal interests
physical well-being (Example: assault and battery)
liberty (Example: false imprisonment)
dignity (Example: invasion of privacy)
Assault and Battery:
-definition: to intentionally create the perception of imminent and offensive bodily contact
-purpose: discourage threats and maintain peace
-elements of assault:
reasonable belief that contact will occur (swing fist at me)
reasonable belief of bodily contact (unloaded gun)
belief of imminent bodily contact (distant threat insufficient)
threat of offensive bodily contact (no need for defendant to be frightened)
- Battery:
-Battery: seldom sue for assault alone; usually joined w/battery
-definition: offensive bodily conduct
“bodily conduct” loosely defined (example: knife or bullet can touch P)
bodily contact generally needs to be considered offensive (as opposed to harmful)
normal social interaction is allowed (example: elevator jostle)
-understanding tort of battery is important for businesses that control crowds (example: bouncers,
-can`t use more than reasonable force; even if crime or other wrong was first committed on you
(example: catching thief)
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Monday September 26th, 2011
Invasion of Privacy:
-with new technologies emerging people concerned with there privacy interests
-tort law has yet to catch up with such technological advances
0generally there is no independent tort of invasion of privacy (people are not required to look away or
keep quiet about what they see)
-reasons for reluctance:
courts want to support freedom of expression and information
difficult to find balance (example: celebrities)
difficult to calculate compensatory damages for the harm such as embarrassment
-privacy is indirectly protected (example: trespass to land, misappropriation of personality etc.)
-courts are coming around to it; Criminal Code - voyeurism
voyeurism is a crime of secretly observing or recording a person in circumstances that gives rises
to a reasonable expectation of privacy
False Imprisonment:
-occurs when a person is confined within a fixed area without justification
-scope of the tort is wide; elements include:
confinement within fixed area
actual prison is not necessary; could be trapped in car, room etc
the confinement must be practically complete
no easy escape available
physical force is not necessary; could be psychological detention
embarrassed and believing there is no other option
Example: caught stealing and told to go to the back room
unjustified confinement
did plaintiff consent to be confined (bus passengers)
consent is a complete defence for all intentional torts
-Powers of Arrest and Detention:
Police Officers:
reasonable belief in commission of crime (current or past)
no liability even if no actual crime
Private Citizens:
rules are much narrower (including for security guards)
can make arrest only if crime is actually being committed
liable if reasonable but wrongful belief of crime
law favours a customers freedom of movement
-Risk Management:
Business may reduce the risk of liability by calling a police officer, instead of directly arresting a
Liability may still be imposed if a business directs a police officer to make an arrest, rather than
merely state the facts
Trespass to Land:
-definition: intentional interference with land
-broad interpretation of intent: enough if plaintiff intended to do the act even if it did not intend to do
wrong or cause damage
Example: building fence on neighbours property
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