Jul 20, 2020

Examples and Explanations of Intentional Torts


Law terms
Law dictionary and gavel on white background

When a particular act or omission by a party causes harm to another, an intentional tort occurs. Act, intent, causation, and consequence are the four main factors of an intentional tort.

The offending party commits an action with a particular intent, which results in the causation of the effect and harm.

What are the Main Intentional Torts?

  • Battery.
  • Conversion
  • Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
  • Trespass to Chattel.
  • Trespass to Land.
  • Assault
  • False imprisonment

Above are some typical examples of intentional torts. Below you will find the basic definitions of these tort offenses. 


What Is A Battery?

Intentionally touching someone can’t be justified unless an exception applies. A battery happens when a defendant touches a plaintiff inappropriately. But the offender must have had the intent to commit the particular act. And this touching must result in some form of harm. (i.e., damage to the victim.).

What Is False Imprisonment?

This confinement happens when the offending party restrains the victim within certain boundaries with the intent of confining.  The offender must also do this with some intent. The purpose in the mind of the defendant should be refusing to let the victim go outside certain boundaries. At the same time, it is essential no reasonable means of escape exists for the victim to retreat.

What is an Assault?

An assault takes place when the offender or the defendant takes an intentional act that results in the offensive contact or harmful effects damaging the other party. (i.e., plaintiff or victim.). In this particular case, the plaintiff must know the harm that the defendant caused him.

Also, the imminence of the harm is a significant factor to consider before proving assault. The case is established if the defendant took intentional action, and desired to damage the other party through bad contact.

What is Trespass To Land?

This case takes place when the defendant has invaded the property of the plaintiff with intentions of harming his possessory rights of the property. If the case wins, the offender wins compensation from the offender. But the plaintiff must show substantial damage. Otherwise, nominal damages may get you a dollar.

What Is Intentional Emotional Distress?

Referred to as intentional infliction of emotional distress, this type of case involves a defendant whose reckless and intentional behavior caused the victim extreme mental agony. The damage doesn’t have to be physical. In simple words, the act of the defendant is so torturous and mentally distressful that it is considered uncivilized. Hence, it remains unacceptable in a civilized community.

What Is Conversion?

In this tort, the defendant intentionally acts in a way that causes harm to the ownership of the plaintiff's property. Here, the plaintiff has enough justifiable grounds to recover the full amount for property interfered with by the defendant.

What Is Trespass To Chattels?

This tort also involves the interference of the respondent in the rights of possession of the plaintiff’s personal property. The defendant might intentionally damage the property, or the owner of the property is temporarily deprived of his personal belongings.

Trespass to chattel exists when the chattel property is wholly taken away from the proprietor. The plaintiff must show he or she didn’t intend to meddle with other people’s rights. In conclusion, these are the main intentional torts that lawyers or law students deal with daily.