Types of Intentional Torts

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Posted on Thursday, January 5th, 2023 at 11:32 pm    

Types of Intentional TortsA tort occurs when someone commits a wrongful act, resulting in harm to a person or their property. For many torts, a victim need only show that the person who harmed them did so with negligence. However, there are a number of intentional torts. As the name suggests, an intentional tort is a wrong done intentionally, knowingly, or purposefully.

Intentional torts can result in injuries to your physical body, well-being, reputation, and property. If you were the victim of an intentional tort, you can bring a lawsuit in an Illinois civil court to seek compensation for your injuries. Our attorneys can help you file a lawsuit for the intentional torts listed below. Schedule a free consultation with an experienced Wallace Miller Chicago intentional tort attorney about your options.

Assault and battery

Assault and battery are often used interchangeably, but they are actually separate wrongful acts. In addition to intentional torts, assault and battery are also criminal offenses.

An assault refers to fear or apprehension of imminent offensive contact. A battery refers to the offensive contact itself. To commit either of these torts, the defendant must know that their action will cause apprehension or contact.

For example, if someone knowingly shakes their fist at you and places you in reasonable fear of physical harm or bodily injury, they commit an assault. If they knowingly strike you with their fist, they also commit battery, in addition to assault. The battery doesn’t need to harm the victim. The contact is all that is necessary for the action to qualify as battery.

False imprisonment

False imprisonment is the unlawful restraint of another person without their consent. In this situation, the victim cannot leave of their own free will. An unlawful restraint occurs when the restraining party has no reasonable grounds for the confinement or restraint.

An example of false imprisonment is a store employee holding you in their shop for suspected theft for an unreasonable amount of time. False imprisonment can also occur when someone drugs the victim to prevent them from leaving the space where they are being held.

The confinement must be complete and may occur by physical force, physical barrier, or threat of physical force. An unlawful restraint may occur through words, acts, or both.


You can seek compensation if you suffer injuries because someone makes an untrue statement about you. This includes verbal and written statements.

A person commits the intentional tort of defamation if they:

  • Make a false statement about you
  • Make an unprivileged publication to a third party
  • Possess fault that amounts to, at least, negligence

The false statement must cause you to suffer harm. There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if the statement is true, it cannot be defamatory. If a person presents the statement as an opinion, it may not amount to defamation. Typically, people present defamatory statements as factual to other parties to make them believe something false about the victim.

Trespass to land and chattels

Trespass refers to interference with possession of land or property. Trespass to land (real property) involves a person wrongfully entering someone else’s land or property. Trespass to chattels refers to interference with the use or possession of personal property.

Trespass to land involves three types of events, where another person:

  • Wrongfully enters your property
  • Enters your property legally but then refuses to leave
  • Causes projectiles or other objects to enter your land

You must prove four facts or elements to establish the intentional tort of trespass to land.

  • You have an exclusive right of possession of the real property.
  • The defendant entered this real property.
  • The defendant did not have your permission to enter or remain on this real property.
  • The defendant’s trespass caused you injury or harm.

The tort of trespass to chattels is similar to the intentional tort of conversion. Both interfere with your right to possession of a personal property item like a piece of jewelry or an automobile.

Sometimes, the interference with possession is so extreme that you are deprived of the property and can recover its full market value. Illinois tort law considers this conversion rather than trespass to chattels.

Contact a Chicago intentional tort attorney today

Our attorneys strive to provide personalized service to every client. We give them specialized attention and ensure they understand everything happening in their case from the beginning to the end. At Wallace Miller, we do not charge any fees unless we win your lawsuit. If you were the victim of an intentional tort, call Wallace Miller today at (312) 261-6193 for a free consultation.

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