Exercise Extreme Caution when using many of our free forms - or any legal material. While they may provide general ideas on format & content, validity requirements can and do vary greatly from state to state. Many MUST be Properly Modified for your own location and circumstances. (Hint: If in doubt it's usually safer to include unneeded clauses than to leave out necessary ones. . . . but it's even safer to consult a competent source or use current, state specific ones like ours mentioned below.) Also, we urge people (and lawyers too) to read our Relying On Legal Info FAQ.
The Restatement states:
An actor is subject to liability to another for battery if
(a) he acts intending to cause a harmful or offensive contact with the person of the other or a third person, or an imminent apprehension of such a contact, and
(b) a harmful contact with the person of the other directly or indirectly results.
Another way to think about battery is that there are three elements:
While assault and battery are often paired in peoples' minds, there is a difference: battery requires actual contact, while assault can be brought simply for causing the apprehension of contact.
It is said that "personal indignity is the essence of an action for battery. Therefore, a charge of battery can be brought for contact with any thing that can be "practically identified" with the body, such as clothing or something held in the hand. Furthermore, there is no requirement that a victim be aware of the contact - the victim can be asleep or unconscious.
For battery, the act must cause and be intended to cause the offensive contact. But, physical harm is not necessary, so spitting in someone's face or knocking an item from someone's hand can support battery. Furthermore, a joke, such as an un-consented to kiss, can qualify as battery, since it is the offensive and harmful consequences that support the charge. But, day-to-day contact carries the assumption of consent: hence, a tap on the shoulder or incidental jostling on the street will likely not support a charge of battery.
The Current Page is:
Battery - Tort Law Basics