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Assault Cases

Assault Cases

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Published by Ghost1L

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Published by: Ghost1L on Oct 28, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Cullison v. MedleyFACTS:
The plaintiff encountered the 16-year-old female defendant, in which they exchanged pleasantries and then went to the plaintiff’s home together to talk further. The plaintiff was later confronted by the five people related to the defendant in his trailer. The defendant’s father appeared to have a gun in a holster strapped to his thigh. He grabbed the gun several times andshook it while threatened to jump astraddle the plaintiff even though he never withdrew the gunfrom it holster. The Plaintiff alleged an assault. The Court of Appeals decided that the becausethe defendant did not removed his gun from the holster and since the threat to jump astraddleonly constituted an unconditional language, which does not express any intent to harm the plaintiff, therefore the defendant did not commit an assault. The plaintiff filed an appeal to thestate’s Supreme Court
Whether defendant intent imminent apprehension of contact, when he confronted the plaintiff in his trailer with a gun strapped to his thigh, while grabbing and shaking it at thedefendant, even though the gun never removed from its holster.
For the purpose of assault, the act must intend to cause harmful or offensive contactanother, or an imminent apprehension of that contact. The act must be one in which to areasonable person mind arouse such apprehension thereby invading the plaintiff’s mental peace.
Here, the defendant intended to frighten the plaintiff by confronting him in histrailer with a gun strapped to his thigh, grabbing and shaking even though the gun was never removed from its holster. He committed an assault because such display of force will arousedmental trauma in the mind of a reasonable person.
Therefore, the plaintiff apprehension of being shot or injured was one whichwould normally be aroused in the mind of a reasonable person. The trial court erred when itmoved to enter summary judgment for the defendant on the count two allegation of assault because
Brower v. AckerleyFACTS:
The plaintiff, an active civil affair advocate received several harassing phone calls fromthe defendant, who the plaintiff complained to the city was erecting billboards without permitsfrom the city. When the city passed a billboard ordinance law, the plaintiff received two explicit phone calls saying, “I’m going to find out where you live and I’m going to kick your ass” andlater, “You are finished; cut you in your sleep”. The plaintiff made a complaint to the police butthe city filed no criminal charges against the defendant based on the police report. The plaintiff filed a civil suit against the defendant for the emotional distress he suffered from the telephonecalls. The case was dismissed and the plaintiff filed an appeal from the summary judgmentdismissal of his claims.
Whether the physical harm threatened in the phone call were imminent to constitute anassault when the defendant alleges they were going to find out where the plaintiff lives, kickedhis ass and cut him while he sleeps.
To constitute assault, a person must acts intending to cause harmful or offensive contactto another, or an imminent apprehension of that contact and the threat must result toapprehension.
Words alone are not enough to make a person liable for assault unless the wordsare couple with other acts or circumstances that might otherwise put the other person inreasonable apprehension of an imminent harmful or offensive contact with his person.
Here, the defendant’s explicit phone threats “I’m going to find out where youlive and I’m going to kick your ass” and later, “You are finished; cut you in your sleep” were notimminent to indicate that they will be followed by physical harm. Even though the plaintiff suffers emotional damages the phone threat did not create immediacy in a way that would have proven to the court that an acts or circumstances were imminent to cause harmful or offensivecontact to the plaintiff.
Therefore, the defendant is not liable for assault and the dismissal of theassault case is still affirmed.
Hall v. McbrydeFACTS:
The defendant was visiting his parent’s house when he noticed some other youths in acar approaching his house; he then retrieved a gun from the house. After being fired upon by theother youths, defendant fired four shots toward the car containing the other youths. During thealtercation one bullet struck the plaintiff, who resided next to the defendant’s house, causing aninjury to his abdomen that required extensive medical treatment. At the trial court, the courtfound for the defendant for several reasons: (1) there was no indication the defendant intended toshoot the plaintiff (2) defendant was not purposely trying to hit the other youths but, instead, wasshooting at their car (3) the plaintiff failed to prove the defendant intended to make contact withthe any person other than the plaintiff. The trial court concluded that the doctrine of transferredintent could not apply to create liability for battery upon the plaintiff.
Whether the transferability of intent applies when the defendant intended to put theother youth in the apprehension of harmful or offensive contact by shooting at their car butsubsequently put another in such harmful apprehension
When one intends an assault another, and caused a bodily injury to a third person whomthe actor did not intend to put in apprehension of harm, it is still battery actionable by the injured person.
Here, the defendant intended the fired shots back at the youths in the car. Anact intended harmful or offensive, or that put someone in the apprehension of such harmconstitutes battery. It is not enough that the defendant wasn’t aiming at the plaintiff, what matter is the fact that his volitional action put the plaintiff in the apprehension of harm.
Therefore, the defendant’s intent to put the other youths in apprehension of aharmful or offensive contact was sufficient to satisfy the intent requirement for battery against plaintiff. The case is remanded for additional findings as to whether the bullet that struck the plaintiff was fired by the defendant and if so, appropriate judgment be enter for the plaintiff.

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