What is an Intentional Tort

In case law, a tort is a civil wrong that may not be illegal but does lead to harm to someone else. It is when one person engages in an act or behavior that causes someone else to experience a loss or be harmed in some way. Torts can be due to negligence or with purpose. An intentional tort is a civil wrong that has occurred because the accused did something on purpose that caused another person to suffer. There are different types of intentional torts.

Common intentional torts are assault, battery, conversion, and false imprisonment. Trespass to land, personal property, and infliction of emotional distress fall under these torts as well. Additionally, fraud and invasion of privacy are included. Each of these torts are acts that are performed intentionally.

Assault is the intentional act of causing someone to be apprehensive of someone else without their permission, while battery is the tort that results from someone causing harm to another person without permission. Both of these torts are the direct result of one person doing something to another person directly.

Conversion is the tort that deals with one person taking something from another person without consent and without any intention of giving it back. An example would be the theft of property. False imprisonment is the tort that covers the act of confining a person without access to an exit point and no grounds for the confinement.

Trespass to land and personal property torts deal with land and physical personal items. When a person intentionally trespasses on land that is owned by someone else without the owner’s permission, the defendant has violated the trespass to land tort. If the personal property tort has been violated, a person has intentionally handled another person’s belongings without consent.

Intentional torts are different than others in several ways. One way these torts differ is in the amount of damage recovery that is available. Damages tend to cover a broader area and are much larger. The United States, for example, makes it easier for punitive damage to be claimed.

It is often more difficult to deal with an intentional tort. The plaintiff must prove his or her losses. He or she must also prove the actions of the defendant were intentionally performed. Defendants do not have to be aware that their actions would directly harm the plaintiff specifically, but just that there would be some kind of consequence to their actions.