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The Common Intentional Torts | Sneed|Mitchell LLP

Tort law defines seven common intentional torts. Four are personal: assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and false imprisonment.

Trespass to chattels, trespass to property, and conversion fill out the list. People most often contact personal injury attorneys for battery, assault, and trespass to property.

If you or someone you love has suffered these common torts, use this form to contact one of our intentional tort attorneys for a complimentary consultation.

What Are The Most Common Intentional Torts In Civil Law
Researching The Most Common Intentional Torts


The law defines battery as the intentional causation of harmful or offensive contact with another's person without that person's consent.

The defendant doesn’t need to physically touch you or cause an injury for their action to qualify as battery. If someone punches you, for example, it's considered battery even if it didn’t injure you.


The law defines assault as initiating intentional physical contact with another person designed to harm, threaten, or provoke. Often assault and battery are used together. However, there is a distinction.

Throwing a punch and missing, for example, is assault as the assailant intends to harm. When the punch connects, on the other hand, it’s battery.

Trespass to Land

Trespass to land includes invasion of land and things adjacent to land, including buildings, trees, improvements, and fixtures.

So much as setting a foot on property you know you aren’t supposed to be on is trespassing. Like other intentional torts, the defendant doesn’t need to damage the property to be sued for trespass.

False Imprisonment

False imprisonment occurs when one is held someone against their will by force or threat of force is false imprisonment. That includes illegal imprisonment by authorities.

If someone points a gun at you and tells you not to move, for example, it’s false imprisonment. Locking a person in a room with no means of exit is also false imprisonment.

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

Often, law professionals call this tort “outrage.” A defendant’s behavior must prove outrageous to invoke the outrage cause of action. Falsely telling someone a loved one, for example, could provide grounds for an outrage suit.

A defendant must cause severe emotional distress to the plaintiff. Physical effects also help prove the severity of the defendant’s emotional distress. Dental damage caused by tooth-grinding or cardiac issues are two good examples.

Outrage is the only intentional tort where intent is not required. Pure recklessness is enough.

Trespass to Chattels

Civil law defines chattels as any movable property. Property that doesn’t qualify as real property is chattel.

This cause of action requires that the defendant “substantially interferes” with the plaintiff’s chattel.

Legally speaking, interfering isn’t just touching another person’s property, nor is substantially using it. Property damage, however, does count as interference and constitutes trespass to chattel.


The law defines conversion as interfering with chattel so severely that the interference forces the plaintiff to sell their chattel to the defendant.

For example, if someone steals your car, jams the gas pedal, and runs it off a cliff, then buys the title to the resulting wreck, its conversion.

Contact an Intentional Torts Attorney

Intentional torts provide grounds for serious lawsuits. Contact Sneed|Mitchell LLP if you believe you have grounds for an intentional torts case.

If we take on your case, we’ll assign you a dedicated team of intentional torts lawyers and other legal professionals.

We’ll stick with your case from start to finish. Furthermore, we never charge by the hour. You only pay us if we win.

Hundreds have trusted us with their cases, nationwide. We’re won millions on their behalf. Fill out a complimentary case evaluation and join the Sneed|Mitchell LLP family today.


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Jordan Still033-Edit- WEB VERSION Chris
Personal Injury Case Manager
Personal Injury Receptionist
Attorney Niles Sneed - Personal Injury Lawyer
Attorney Brit Mitchell - Personal Injury Lawye




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