The altercation with fellow singer Frank Ocean’s entourage erupted on Jan. 27.
It’s looking like I may be able to base my entire column and scoop.it channel here on just one guy: Chris Brown. First domestic trouble with Rihanna leads to criminal convictions for domestic violence, then car accidents involving hit and run, now civil lawsuits for assault and battery. He is a series of law lessons in and of himself!
Having had a fair number of the night club assault and battery cases over the years, however, I know that you really have to investigate the facts fully to verify the legitimacy of the personal injury claims being made against Chris. For purposes of a civil claim for damages, California law defines an “Assault” as, an “intentional act intended to cause harmful contact” or a “threat” to harm another which gives the person a “reasonable” fear that the harmful act or threat will be carried out. (California Civil Jury Instructions 1301). A “Battery” is defined as an “intentional” “touching” of the plaintiff with an “intent” to “harm or offend” that person in such a way that a “reasonable person” would feel offended by the touch. (California Civil Jury Instructions 1300).
It should also be noted that Assault and Battery can also be crimes under the California Penal Code. The criminal definitions are similar but, there is no defense of “comparative fault” on the part of the person claiming to be subject to the assault or battery. However, there is a counter argument of “self-defense” to these charges. (See California Penal Code sections 240-248).
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