Trespass to Chattels Q.

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SwampRat88
Posts: 113
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:23 pm

Trespass to Chattels Q.

Postby SwampRat88 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:55 pm

I understand that in trespass to chattels, unlike trespass to land, harm must occur. I don't understand, however, if the harm must be shown on only the chattel, or is harm to the possessor is also sufficient.

For example, A takes B's keys, promising to return them after A is done showing B some cars in his used car lot. Several hours later, B requests his keys back, and A denies having them. This continues for several minutes. B, who has little patience, is progressively enraged. A finally gives up his little game and surrenders the keys to B's car.

There was no harm done to the keys or the car, but could a trespass to chattels claim still be made in that B was harmed?

UT1502
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:33 am

Re: Trespass to Chattels Q.

Postby UT1502 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:59 pm

SwampRat88 wrote:I understand that in trespass to chattels, unlike trespass to land, harm must occur. I don't understand, however, if the harm must be shown on only the chattel, or is harm to the possessor is also sufficient.

For example, A takes B's keys, promising to return them after A is done showing B some cars in his used car lot. Several hours later, B requests his keys back, and A denies having them. This continues for several minutes. B, who has little patience, is progressively enraged. A finally gives up his little game and surrenders the keys to B's car.

There was no harm done to the keys or the car, but could a trespass to chattels claim still be made in that B was harmed?


You have to show that you were substantially deprived of its use for a significant amount of time. Demonstrating harm to you might do it (like you missed work).

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kalvano
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Re: Trespass to Chattels Q.

Postby kalvano » Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:00 pm

I think the better tort claim will be when B sneaks up behind A and hits him over the head with a shovel and yells "Take that bitch!"

SwampRat88
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Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:23 pm

Re: Trespass to Chattels Q.

Postby SwampRat88 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:14 pm

UT1502 wrote:
SwampRat88 wrote:I understand that in trespass to chattels, unlike trespass to land, harm must occur. I don't understand, however, if the harm must be shown on only the chattel, or is harm to the possessor is also sufficient.

For example, A takes B's keys, promising to return them after A is done showing B some cars in his used car lot. Several hours later, B requests his keys back, and A denies having them. This continues for several minutes. B, who has little patience, is progressively enraged. A finally gives up his little game and surrenders the keys to B's car.

There was no harm done to the keys or the car, but could a trespass to chattels claim still be made in that B was harmed?


You have to show that you were substantially deprived of its use for a significant amount of time. Demonstrating harm to you might do it (like you missed work).


What if A's actions caused B to have a heart attack because of a unique condition. Would that be sufficient for harm in IIED in this example?

UT1502
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:33 am

Re: Trespass to Chattels Q.

Postby UT1502 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:24 pm

SwampRat88 wrote:
UT1502 wrote:
SwampRat88 wrote:I understand that in trespass to chattels, unlike trespass to land, harm must occur. I don't understand, however, if the harm must be shown on only the chattel, or is harm to the possessor is also sufficient.

For example, A takes B's keys, promising to return them after A is done showing B some cars in his used car lot. Several hours later, B requests his keys back, and A denies having them. This continues for several minutes. B, who has little patience, is progressively enraged. A finally gives up his little game and surrenders the keys to B's car.

There was no harm done to the keys or the car, but could a trespass to chattels claim still be made in that B was harmed?


You have to show that you were substantially deprived of its use for a significant amount of time. Demonstrating harm to you might do it (like you missed work).


What if A's actions caused B to have a heart attack because of a unique condition. Would that be sufficient for harm in IIED in this example?


IIED is damn near impossible to prove. I think A would have to know about the unique condition AND know (or reasonably should) that his actions could cause B to have a heart attack.

My torts prof only cared about spotting the possibility, not what ACTUALLY would sway a court, and I'm realizing the shortcomings of that method now.




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