Torts: Affirmative Defenses for Intentional Torts: Self Defense/Defense of Others/Defense of Personal Property

Self Defense/Defense of Others/Defense of personal property – protective privileges
  • Δ must show proper timingNo revenge. The tort that Δ claims to be responding to, that tort must either be imminent or in progress. If that tort is over or done with, then there is no protective privilege. You must act in the moment or not at all.
  • Δ must have reasonable belief that tort is about to be committed in order for Δ to invoke protective privilege and escape liability.
    • Self defense: reasonable belief that you were going to victimized.
    • Defense of others: reasonable belief that someone else was going to be victimized.
    • Defense of personal property: reasonable belief that your personal property was going to be harmed.
  • A reasonable mistake will not deprive you of one of these protective privileges
    • Shopkeepers privilege
  • Amount of force to be used:
    • Δ must limit response to force necessary under the circumstance. (symmetry/ proportionality)
    • Deadly force: may be used provided human life is in jeopardy or you reasonably believe human life to be in jeopardy.
      • Deadly force never allowed with respect to personal property.
        • No deadly traps, either. Cannot use a mechanical device or apparatus to do what you can’t do in person.