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Intentional Torts UNIT #4 – CIVIL LAW. Intentional Torts Intentional torts occur when:  a person deliberately causes harm or loss to another person.

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Presentation on theme: "Intentional Torts UNIT #4 – CIVIL LAW. Intentional Torts Intentional torts occur when:  a person deliberately causes harm or loss to another person."— Presentation transcript:

1 Intentional Torts UNIT #4 – CIVIL LAW

2 Intentional Torts Intentional torts occur when:  a person deliberately causes harm or loss to another person.  This loss could occur with property, goods, or the physical and mental well-being of an individual.

3 Distinguishing Between Intent & Motive Intent The essential element of an intentional tort is intent (plans, hopes, desires). Is the person aware of the consequences of his or her actions? Scenario: If a person “playfully” throws a snowball at someone causing permanent damage to the person’s eye, has an intentional tort occurred? Explain.

4 Distinguishing Between Intent & Motive Motive  The reason something was done.  It is generally not an essential element of a tort action, as long as the action was done intentionally.  Using the snowball scenario again apply motive to this situation.

5 Independent or Partner Work  Read page 413 – 424 in Chapter 12: Negligence and Other Torts, and answer the following questions on your handout about Intentional Torts.  Motive  False Imprisonment  Trespass to Land (Property)  Nuisance  Defamation of Character

6 Let’s Review Handout questions UNIT #4 – CIVIL LAW

7 Handout Questions (pg. 413-424) Explain the difference and give an example of assault in tort law and assault in criminal law Tort Law – any threat of apparent or immediate danger or violence is an assault i.e. someone tries to punch you and misses

8 Tort Law vs. Criminal Law If a person…It may be a crime of… And also the tort of… Hits another person Breaks into someone’s property Takes someone’s belongings Assault Break and enter Theft Battery Trespass to land Trespass to goods

9 Handout Questions (pg. 413-424) Explain and give an example of battery  Harmful or offensive contract  Must be direct not indirect  Assumes fault on the defendant’s part

10 Handout Questions (pg. 413-424) False Imprisonment involves  Confining or restraining a person without their consent in a specific area _____ might be a better word for this type of tort  Wrongful confinement

11 Handout Questions (pg. 413-424) Scenario: A mall security guard yells, “Stop that thief” as you innocently exit a store. You walk away not realizing why all of the shoppers are starring at you. Security runs past you in pursuit of someone else. Is this an example of false arrest? Why or why not?  Yes, if you did not move b/c of fear you would be arrested Take the same example with the security guard yelling and running by you for someone else and make it a tort.  Caused harm to the mental well-being of the person

12 Handout Questions (pg. 413-424) Trespass to Land (Property) Trespass is: The act of entering and crossing another person’s land w/out permission or legal authority Note: specific damages do not have to result for this intentional tort – simply the action is adequate

13 Handout Questions (pg. 413-424) Scenarios: a)Kyle pushes Tony off the sidewalk into a lovely flowerbed. Who has committed the trespass?  Both – Kyle had the intent & didn’t have to cause specific damage

14 Handout Questions (pg. 413-424) Scenarios: b)The neighbour’s tree breaks a large branch which falls into your yard. Is this a trespass if the neighbour doesn’t clean it up?  Yes – as long as the tree remains on the land, there is a continuing trespass

15 Handout Questions (pg. 413-424) Scenarios: c)Your house backs onto a park. A father and son fly model airplanes and constantly fly them over your property upsetting the dog. Is this a trespass of property?  Yes – the right to use land above and below Earth’s surface

16 Handout Questions (pg. 413-424) Defences for trespass include:  Consent  Self-Defence  Defence of Property  Legal Authority  Necessity  Defence of Others

17 Handout Questions (pg. 413-424) Nuisance  Occurs when a wrongful action interferes with the “enjoyment of life” for a person (s).  One of the defences for nuisance is prescription.  This means that if the cause of the nuisance has existed for 20 years without dispute, then suing for compensation is unlikely.

18 Handout Questions (pg. 413-424) Scenario:  Dan Jackson has beautiful old maple tree on his property which reached over into the neighbour’s backyard.  Every fall Mr. Jackson assumed the responsibility of cleaning the leaves from his neighbour’s property. There was never a dispute and in fact the neighbour appreciated the aesthetics of the tree.  New young owners bought the property and insisted that Mr. Jackson cut down the tree so that they could install a pool. They claimed they could sue for nuisance and even trespass if Mr. Jackson did not co-operate.  Advise Mr. Jackson on his legal position.

19 Handout Questions (pg. 413-424) Defamation of Character  injury to a person’s character or reputation  The attack may be intentional or unintentional. It may cause:  Pp’l to avoid him/her  Expose person to hatred, contempt  Difficulty in finding or keeping jobs  Strained friendships

20 Handout Questions (pg. 413-424) Defamation of Character  The attack can be verbal, written, or published and must cause damages that can result in compensation.  The statement must be false, heard or read by a third party and defame the person by ridicule, hatred, malicious remarks or contempt.  Defamation of character is balanced by the Charter of Rights under the Freedom of Expression.

21 Handout Questions (pg. 413-424) Defamation of Character  Slander is: defamation through verbal communications  Libel is: defamation in written form (visual or audio)  Why do you think slander is more difficult to prove than libel?

22 Handout Questions (pg. 413-424) Explain the following defences of defamation of character:  Truth  Best defence – to prove truth  Action will fail if defendant can show statements are absolutely true and justified  Absolute Privilege  Defence against defamation for statements made in legislative & judicial proceedings (i.e. public roles – member of parliament/the courts)

23 Handout Questions (pg. 413-424) Explain the following defences of defamation of character:  Qualified Privilege  A defence against defamation for expressing honest opinion as part of a job (i.e. teachers/employers/credit agencies)  Fair Comment  A defence to defamation for comments made in good faith. (i.e. media critics/food critics – must be done w/out malice)

24 Handout Questions (pg. 413-424) What would be examples of published materials other than written?  The Internet  Radio  TV  Recordings (audio or visual)

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