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Cole v. Turner

Melissa A. Hale

ProfessorMelissa A. Hale

CaseCast "What you need to know"

CaseCast –  "What you need to know"

Cole v. Turner

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Brief Fact Summary. No facts are given.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. The lightest angry touch constitutes battery. A gentle touch made in close quarters with no ill intention is not a battery. A forceful or reckless touch, in close quarters is a battery.

Facts. As indicated above, no facts are given. This case only sets forth recitations of law.

Issue. Under what circumstances and with what mindsets may a touching constitute battery?

Held. Any degree of touching coupled with angry mindset qualifies as battery.
* A light degree of touching in circumstances that may make avoiding such a touch difficult is not a battery in the absence of negative intent.
* A reckless or violent touching is a battery, even under circumstances that make avoiding physical contact difficult.

Discussion. These early pronouncements on battery demonstrate the elements at play in determining whether a battery has occurred. Far from being a simple matter, one must look to the parties’ states of mind, the degree of contact, and their surroundings in analyzing whether a battery has occurred. It is also noteworthy that these pronouncements suggest that a party’s intentions are the most important factor in the battery analysis, as an angry mindset can render even the most minimal contact a battery.

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