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Civil Law and Procedure

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Presentation on theme: "Civil Law and Procedure"— Presentation transcript:

1 Civil Law and Procedure
Chapter 5

2 How do Crimes and Torts Differ?
Crime—offense against society A public wrong Tort—an offense against an individual A private or civil wrong

3 Elements of a tort Elements of a Tort: Duty Breach of duty Injury

4 Elements of a tort Duty By law you have the duty to do or not do something The duty not to injure another The duty not to interfere with the property rights of others The duty not to interfere with the economic rights of others

5 Violation of Duty (Breach of Duty)
Elements of a tort Violation of Duty (Breach of Duty) Must be proved before the injured party can collect damages Intentional Negligence Strict liability

6 Elements of a tort Injury
Injury resulting from the breach of duty must be proved If you act recklessly, but no one gets injured, there usually is no tort

7 Elements of a tort Causation The breach of duty caused the injury
Degrees of causation Proximate cause—the amount of causation need to be recognized by law

8 Responsibility for another’s torts
Vicarious Liability When one person is liable for the tort of another Examples: Parents who give their children “dangerous instrumentalities,” such as guns, without proper instruction Continuous dangerous habits—children who continue to throw rocks at trains and vehicles

9 Intentional torts Intentional Torts
Torts in which the defendant possessed the intent or purpose to inflict the resultant injury There are nine common intentional torts

10 Intentional torts Assault
When one person intentionally puts another in reasonable fear of an offensive or harmful bodily contact Threat can be made with words or gestures Threat must be believable Threat can be physical Threat can be offensive

11 Intentional torts Battery Harmful or offensive touching
Examples: Shooting, pushing in anger, spitting on, or throwing a pie in another’s face Must be intentional

12 Intentional torts False Imprisonment
Intentional confinement of a person against the person’s will and without lawful privilege Examples: handcuffed; locked in a room, car, or jail; told in a threatening way to stay in one place; or otherwise denied their liberty

13 Intentional torts Defamation
A false statement that injures another’s reputation or good name Slander—spoken Libel—written The statement must be: False Communicated to a third person Bring the victim into disrepute, contempt, or ridicule by others

14 Intentional torts Invasion of Privacy
Uninvited intrusion into an individual’s personal relationships and activities May cause outrage, mental suffering, or humiliation Includes: Freedom from unnecessary publicity regarding personal matters Freedom from commercial exploitation of one’s name, picture, or endorsement without permission Bans illegal eavesdropping by any listening device

15 Intentional torts Trespass to Land
Entry onto the property of another without the owner’s consent May consist of other forms of interference with the possession of property: Dumping garbage on the land of another Breaking the windows of a neighbor’s house Must show intent

16 Intentional torts Conversion (theft)
Intentionally stealing, destroying, or using another person’s property in a manner inconsistent with the owner’s rights Can occur even when the converter doesn’t know that there is conversion Buying stolen merchandise

17 Intentional torts Interference with Contractual Relations
a defendant is liable to pay damages in tort for actions intended to interfere with the plaintiff's contractual relations with a third party the burden is on the plaintiff to prove the elements of the claim rather than on the defendant to prove that its acts were justified. To prevail on the claim, plaintiff must prove four elements: that a valid contract existed that defendant had knowledge of the contract that defendant acted intentionally and improperly that plaintiff was injured by the defendant’s actions

18 Intentional torts Fraud
An intentional representation of an existing important fact (a lie) Misrepresentation must be relied on and cause the victim to part with a legal right or something valuable Opinions are not considered fraudulent

19 negligence Negligence—most common tort
Only carelessness is required for negligence Duty imposed by negligence: Reasonable person standard Required to act with the care, prudence, and good judgment of a reasonable person so as not to cause injury to another Children are required to act with the care that a reasonable child of like age, intelligence, and experience would act UNLESS they are performing and adult activity: driving a car or boat Professionals and skilled tradespeople are held to a higher standard

20 negligence Breach of Duty Causation and Injury
Defendant’s conduct is compared to that of a reasonable person Causation and Injury Violation of the duty must be the cause of the injury

21 negligence Defenses to Negligence
Contributory negligence—plaintiff contributed to their own injury Plaintiff cannot collect damages Comparative negligence—plaintiff is partially at fault (substituted for contributory negligence in most states) Plaintiff is awarded reduced damages based on the amount of fault Assumption of risk—aware of danger but subject yourself to it anyway

22 Strict liability Strict Liability
Liability that exists even though the defendant is (or was) not negligent Makes the defendant liable if he/she engaged in a particular activity that resulted in injury. Proof of the activity and the injury substitutes for proof of a violation of duty

23 Examples of Strict Liability
Engaging in abnormally dangerous activities—Examples: Target practice, Blasting, Crop dusting with dangerous chemicals, storing flammable liquids in large quantities Ownership of dangerous animals Sale of goods that are unreasonably dangerous—defective goods

24 Strict liability Who is liable? Manufacturer Sellers Distributors

25 Remedies available in a civil suit
Injunction A court order for a person to do or not to do something Damages Monetary award to the injured party to compensate for loss Purpose: to place the injured party in the same financial position as if the injury had not occurred Types: Compensatory—compensate for loss Punitive—punish the wrongdoer

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