Elements for Proving a Cause of Action in Tort for Battery

CACI 1300. Battery – Essential Factual Elements:

[Name of plaintiff] claims that [name of defendant] committed a battery. To establish this claim, [name of plaintiff] must prove all of the following:

1. That [name of defendant] [touched [name of plaintiff]] [or] [caused [name of plaintiff] to be touched] with the intent to harm or offend [him/her];

2. That [name of plaintiff] did not consent to the touching; and

3. That [name of plaintiff] was harmed [or offended] by [name of defendant]’s conduct; [and]

[4. That a reasonable person in [name of plaintiff]’s situation would have been offended by the touching.]

“A battery is any intentional, unlawful and harmful contact by one person with the person of another. . . . A harmful contact, intentionally done is the essence of a battery. A contact is ‘unlawful’ if it is unconsented to.” (Ashcraft v. King (1991) 228 Cal.App.3d 604, 611 [278 Cal.Rptr. 900], internal citations omitted.)

“A battery is a violation of an individual’s interest in freedom from intentional, unlawful, harmful or offensive unconsented contacts with his or her person.” (Rains v. Superior Court (1984) 150 Cal.App.3d 933, 938 [198 Cal.Rptr. 249].)

Restatement Second of Torts, section 13 provides: 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.

” ‘It has long been established, both in tort and criminal law, that “the least touching” may constitute battery. In other words, force against the person is enough; it need not be violent or severe, it need not cause bodily harm or even pain, and it need not leave any mark.’ ” (People v. Mansfield (1988) 200 Cal.App.3d 82, 88 [245 Cal.Rptr. 800], internal citations omitted.)

“In an action for civil battery the element of intent is satisfied if the evidence shows defendant acted with a ‘willful disregard’ of the plaintiff’s rights.” (Ashcraft, supra, 228 Cal.App.3d at p. 613, internal citation omitted.)

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