Intentional Torts

Published July 3, 2019

Courtroom and gavel
Torts are wrongful acts that cause personal or property damage leading to civil legal liability. These laws are important because it holds those accountable for the damages and can reduce harmful activities on campus or in your everyday life. Please note that some situations vary.

In the United States, torts are categorized in three general areas: intentional torts, negligent torts, and strict liability torts. A tortfeasor that falls under an intentional tort must have intended to commit the act. This means they intended the consequences of the act and/or they knew with certainty what would result from their actions. Intentional torts are against a person(s) or property; however, state laws may differ when filing your claim.

I.Assault and Battery

  • Assault is an intentional, unexcused act that
    • Creates a reasonable apprehension of fear of immediate harmful or offensive contact and requires no contact.
  • Battery is the completion of the assault and can be
    • Intentional or unexcused that can be harmful, offensive, and/or unwelcomed.
    • Physical contact

II.False Imprisonment

  • Intentional confinement or restraint of another persons’ activities without justification.

III.Infliction of Emotional Distress

  • Intentional act that is extreme and outrageous, which results in severe emotional distress in another and is calculated to cause a serious kind of mental distress.


  • Wrongfully hurting a person’s reputation; the law imposes a duty to refrain from making false statements about others. Orally breaching is slander and breaching it online is libel.
    • Slander: A plaintiff must prove “special damages” to prevail for slander
    • Libel: General damages are presumed, and the plaintiff does not have to show actual injuries

The COB Legal Information Clinic has other material on this subject.