TRESPASS TO A PERSON

Generally, trespass is when there is a wrongful interference with someone’s property without any valid justification. The interference should always be direct and tangible either by a person or by a person through an object. For example, throwing stones at someone’s house would be rendered as trespass to property.

In addition to that, there is also a concept of trespass to a person. Trespass to a person is regarded as interference with someone’s body without any valid justification, also relates to a persons’ right to freedom from interference with his body or his right to personal liberty Trespass to a person can be in the forms of assault, battery, and wrongful confinement on one’s self. Trespass to a person is always related to wrongful interference with someone’s body. Trespass is consequential to bodily harm. Although, if someone has become a victim of assault, battery, or wrongful confinement, there are few remedies mentioned in civil law in which they could ask for in the court of law.

To further elaborate, the concept of trespass to a person. It is necessary to understand the above-mentioned categories in-depth for trespass to person i.e., the trespass of assault trespass of battery, and trespass of wrongful confinement.

  1. Battery: The wrong of battery consists in the intentional application of force to another person without any lawful justification. Its essential requirements are:
  2. There should be the use of force.
  3. The same should be, without any lawful justification.

Use of Force Even though the force used is very trivial and does not cause any harm, the wrong is still constituted. Physical hurt need not be there. The least touching of another in anger is a battery[1].

Mere passive obstruction, however, cannot be considered as the use of force. In Innes v. Wylie[2], a policeman unlawfully prevented the plaintiff from entering the club premises. It was held that “if the policeman was entirely passive like a door or a wall put to prevent from entering the room,” there was no assault.

  • Assault: Tortious assault is the calculated threat of violence that causes a reasonable fear of immediate physical contact. Assault entails conduct reasonably leading to the battery, such as Intimidation, Apprehension of harm, Unlawful contact, Manifestation of violent propensities, and Threats
  • Tortious assault is distinguished from the actual tortious battery which is the physical contact that may occur subsequent to tortious assault. In other words, tortious assault is the fear of battery that may or may not subsequently occur.
  • For example, a clenched fist would constitute the assault, while the punch is the battery. Individuals do not have the right to give conditional threats or demands without lawful authorization.
  • However, assault cannot be words alone. There must be some action or words accompanying action that leads to the apprehension of physical harm through unlawful contact.
  • False imprisonment: This is the wrongful or unreasonable restraint of an individual’s liberty without lawful justification. There is NO need to show damages. For example, police officers may arrest or detain an individual without legal justification.
  • One’s liberty cannot be restrained without authority in law or following reasonable conditions. In addition, partial restraint, obstruction or detention would not be subject to a successful cause of action for false imprisonment. The boundary preventing one from passing can be large, narrow, moveable, or fixed.
  • The defense for false imprisonment is lawful justification, such as a lawful arrest. However, an unlawful arrest by a police officer may result in a cause of action for false imprisonment, as would battery.

To conclude, all the above forms of the trespass must be done without any lawful justification, and they must cause an apprehension of infliction of harm on the mind of the plaintiff, to constitute an assault, whereas to constitute a batter there must be use or apparent use of force on the body of the plaintiff, irrelevant of the fact that the force used to cause any harm, the application must be in such in a fit of form anger or malice. And lastly, to constitute wrongful detention, there must be a full restraint on a person’s liberty to move, and such must be with unlawful justification.


[1] Cole v. Turner, 6 Mod. 149

[2] (1844) 1 C. & K 257.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.