CIVIL HARASSMENT

An attorney can represent you in a civil harassment action. A civil harassment restraining order protects victims of abuse or harassment or threats of abuse or harassment. Such an order can require one to not contact or go near the protected person (and, potentially, certain members of the person’s family or household members) and stay away from the work, school, home, etc. of the protected person (and that of the protected person’s family or household members). The order can require that the restrained person not have a gun while the order is in effect. Again, an attorney can represent you in a civil harassment action.

PHONE: 530-537-6822

BREACH OF CONTRACT

An attorney can represent you in a breach of contract action. To breach a contract, there must be one in place. A contract is an agreement to do or refrain from doing certain things, and, to be enforceable, the parties to the agreement must be legally capable of contracting (e.g., not minors or persons of unsound mind) and must willingly make the agreed upon exchange (this is known as “consideration,” which may take the form (on either side of the transaction) of an action, the forbearance to act, or a promise). To prevail in a breach of contract claim, the plaintiff (i.e., the person bringing the lawsuit), must show: That plaintiff and defendant entered into a contract; That plaintiff did all, or substantially all, of the significant things that the contract required him/her/it to do, or that plaintiff was excused from having to perform; That the defendant failed to do something the contract required him/her/it to do, and that failure was not excusable; That plaintiff was harmed; & That defendant’s breach of contract was a substantial factor in causing plaintiff’s harm. Contracts can be express (oral or written) or implied (by the conduct of the parties). The breach of a contract may result in significant damage to the injured party. The law may provide a remedy for such a wrong. Again, an attorney can represent you in a breach of contract action.

PHONE: 530-537-6822

FRAUD (INTENTIONAL MISREPRESENTATION)

An attorney can represent you in a fraud action. The tort of fraudulent deceit is distinct from the contract defense of fraud and is premised on the fact that one has deceived another, resulting in harm to the other. Not all deception is actionable, however. To prevail in a claim for fraud, the plaintiff (i.e., the person bringing the lawsuit) must show: The defendant represented to the plaintiff that a fact was true; The defendant’s representation was false; The defendant knew the representation was false when he made it, or that he made the representation recklessly and without regard for its truth; The defendant intended that the plaintiff rely on the representation; The plaintiff reasonably relied on the defendant’s representation; The plaintiff was harmed; & The plaintiff’s reliance on the defendant’s representation was a substantial factor in causing his/her/its harm. The misrepresentation may be a knowingly false representation, the concealment or nondisclosure of certain information, or a promise to perform without the intent to actually perform. In addition to compensatory damages (i.e., a money award to “make plaintiff whole”), the plaintiff may also, in the appropriate case, recover punitive damages. Again, an attorney can represent you in a fraud action.

PHONE: 530-537-6822

NEGLIGENT MISREPRESENATION

An attorney can represent you in a negligent misrepresentation action. Unlike fraudulent deceit, negligent misrepresentation does not require the defendant act with knowing falsity or recklessly and without regard to the truth. Rather, the assertion must merely be made without reasonable grounds to believe it true. To prevail in a claim for negligent misrepresentation, the plaintiff (i.e., the person bringing the lawsuit) must show: The defendant represented to the plaintiff that a fact was true; The defendant’s representation was not true; The defendant had no reasonable grounds for believing the representation was true when he/she made it; The defendant intended that the plaintiff rely on this representation; The plaintiff reasonably relied on the defendant’s representation; The plaintiff was harmed; & The plaintiff’s reliance on the defendant’s representation was a substantial factor in causing his/her/its harm. Although punitive damages are not available under this theory, an injured plaintiff may still be entitled to full compensatory damages. Again, an attorney can represent you in a negligent misrepresentation action.

PHONE: 530-537-6822

BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY

An attorney can represent you in an action for breach of fiduciary duty. Certain relationships are treated almost sacredly in the law. The breach of such a relationship may give rise to civil liability. To prevail in a claim for breach of fiduciary duty, the plaintiff must show: That there existed a fiduciary or confidential relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant; That the defendant breached the obligations arising by nature of the fiduciary relationship; & That the plaintiff was harmed as a result of the breach. (A fiduciary relationship “is any relation existing between parties to a transaction wherein one of the parties is in duty bound to act with the utmost good faith for the benefit of the other party. Such a relation ordinarily arises where a confidence is reposed by one person in the integrity of another, and in such a relation the party in whom the confidence is reposed, if he voluntarily accepts or assumes to accept the confidence, can take no advantage from his acts relating to the interest of the other party without the latter’s knowledge or consent. . .” (Wolf v. Superior Court (2003) 107 CA4th 25, 29.).) Again, an attorney can represent you in an action for breach of fiduciary duty.

PHONE: 530-537-6822

REAL PROPERTY: PRIVATE NUISANCE

An attorney can represent you in a private nuisance action. A nuisance is “anything injurious to health . . . [or] indecent or offensive to the senses, or an obstruction to free use of property so as to interfere with comfortable enjoyment of life or property . . .” (Civil Code sec. 3479.) A plaintiff may bring an action for private nuisance, where he has suffered injury specific to the use and enjoyment of his land. To succeed in such a claim, the plaintiff must show: The plaintiff owned, leased, occupied, or controlled the property; The defendant, by acting or failing to act, created a condition or permitted a condition to exist that was harmful to health, was indecent or offensive to the senses, was an obstruction to the free use of property, so as to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property, unlawfully obstructed the free passage or use, in customary manner, of any navigable lake, or river, bay, stream, canal, or basin, or any public park, square, street, or highway, or was a potentially dangerous condition to the plaintiff’s property; This condition substantially interfered with the plaintiff’s use or enjoyment of his land; An ordinary person would reasonably be annoyed or disturbed by the defendant’s conduct; The plaintiff did not consent to the defendant’s conduct; The plaintiff was harmed; The defendant’s conduct was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s harm; & The seriousness of the harm outweighs the public interest of the defendant’s conduct. Again, an attorney can represent you in a private nuisance action.

PHONE: 530-537-6822

REAL PROPERTY: TRESPASS TO LAND

An attorney can represent you in a trespass to land action. Where a person disrupts the right to exclusive possession of another to his/her land by unauthorized entry, there may be a trespass to land. To prevail in claim for trespass to land, the plaintiff must show: The plaintiff owned, leased, occupied, or controlled the property; The defendant intentionally or, although not intending to do so, recklessly or negligently entered the plaintiff’s property, or caused another person or thing to do so; The plaintiff did not give permission for the entry or the defendant exceeded the plaintiff’s permission; The plaintiff was harmed; & The defendant’s entry or conduct was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s harm. A defendant can trespass without physical entry by, for example, causing an object to enter the plaintiff’s property. Additionally, intrusion may be intangible- noise, vibrations, etc.- provided it causes damage to land. (Generally, “landowners and tenants have a right to exclude persons from trespassing on private property; the right to exclude persons is a fundamental aspect of private property ownership.” (Allred v. Harris (1993) 14 Cal.App.4th 1386.).) Again, an attorney can represent you in a trespass to land action.

PHONE: 530-537-6822

HARM TO ECONOMIC INTERESTS: INTENTIONAL INTERFERENCE WITH CONTRACTUAL RELATIONS

An attorney can represent you in an action for intentional interference with contractual relations. California law protects parties to a contract from interference by others. Persons who intentionally disrupt an existing contractual relationship may be civilly liable. To prevail in a claim for intentional interference with contractual relations, the plaintiff must show: That there was a contract between the plaintiff and a third party; That the defendant knew of the contract; That the defendant’s conduct prevented performance or made performance more expensive or difficult; That the defendant intended to disrupt the performance of this contract or knew that disruption of performance was certain or substantially certain to occur; That the plaintiff was harmed; & That the defendant’s conduct was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s harm. The plaintiff may recover compensatory damages for harm resulting from the defendant’s conduct. Punitive damages may also be available upon a proper showing of oppression, fraud, or malice. Again, an attorney can represent you in an action for intentional interference with contractual relations.

PHONE: 530-537-6822

HARM TO ECONOMIC INTERESTS: INTENTIONAL INTERFERENCE WITH PROSPECTIVE ECONOMIC RELATIONS

An attorney can represent you in an action for intentional interference with prospective economic relations. Even where a contract has not yet been entered into between parties, an injured party may bring a claim for intentional interference with prospective economic relations where a third party disrupts the relationship between the parties. To prevail in such a claim, the plaintiff must show: That the plaintiff and another person, entity, etc. were in an economic relationship that probably would have resulted in an economic benefit to the plaintiff; That the defendant knew of the relationship; That the defendant engaged in conduct determined to be wrongful; That by engaging in this conduct, the defendant intended to disrupt the relationship or knew that disruption of the relationship was certain or substantially certain to occur; That the relationship was disrupted; That the plaintiff was harmed; & That the defendant’s conduct was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s harm. The plaintiff may recover compensatory damages for harm resulting from the defendant’s conduct. Punitive damages may also be available upon a proper showing of oppression, fraud, or malice. Injunctive relief may also be available. Again, an attorney can represent you in an action for intentional interference with prospective economic relations.

PHONE: 530-537-6822

HARM TO ECONOMIC INTERESTS: NEGLIGENT INTERFERENCE WITH PROSPECTIVE ECONOMIC RELATIONS

An attorney can represent you in an action for negligent interference with prospective economic relations. Third parties who interfere with a prospective economic relationship, even negligently, may be liable in tort. To make a claim for negligent interference with economic advantage, the plaintiff must prove: That the plaintiff and another person, entity, etc. were in an economic relationship that probably would have resulted in a future economic benefit to the plaintiff; That the defendant knew or should have known of this relationship; That the defendant knew or should have known that this relationship would be disrupted if he failed to act with reasonable care; That the defendant failed to act with reasonable care; That the defendant engaged in specific wrongful conduct; That the relationship was disrupted; That the plaintiff was harmed; & That the defendant’s wrongful conduct was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s harm. The plaintiff may recover compensatory damages for harm resulting from the defendant’s conduct. Again, an attorney can represent you in an action for negligent interference with prospective economic relations.

PHONE: 530-537-6822

NEGLIGENCE

An attorney can represent you in a negligence action. The failure to act reasonably, under the circumstances, may lead to another person being injured or harmed. To prevail in a negligence claim, the plaintiff must show: That the defendant was negligent, in that he breached a duty owed to the plaintiff; That the plaintiff was harmed; & That defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff harm. An injured plaintiff may be compensated for not only past and present injury, but also for damages related to future consequences of the harm inflicted (e.g., loss earning capacity). Again, an attorney can represent you in a negligence action.

PHONE: 530-537-6822

INJURY TO PERSON: ASSAULT

An attorney can represent you in an action for assault. Intentional torts can result in serious harm and corresponding monetary award (which may include punitive damages). One such action is assault. To prevail in an assault claim, the plaintiff must show: That the defendant acted, intending to cause harmful or offensive contact & that the plaintiff reasonably believed that he was about to be touched in a harmful, or an offensive, manner; or, that the defendant threatened to touch the plaintiff in a harmful, or an offensive, manner & that it reasonably appeared to the plaintiff that the defendant was about to carry out the threat; That the plaintiff did not consent to the defendant’s conduct; That the plaintiff was harmed; & That the defendant’s conduct was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s harm. A touching is offensive if it offends a reasonable sense of personal dignity. Words alone do not amount to an assault. Again, an attorney can represent you in an action for assault.

PHONE: 530-537-6822

INJURY TO PERSON: BATTERY

An attorney can represent you in an action for battery. Intentional torts can result in serious harm and corresponding monetary award (which may include punitive damages). One such action is battery. To prevail in a battery claim, the plaintiff must show: That the defendant touched the plaintiff, or caused the plaintiff to be touched, with the intent to harm (or offend) him; That the plaintiff did not consent to the touching; That the plaintiff was harmed (or offended) by the defendant’s conduct; (&, in the appropriate case) That a reasonable person in the plaintiff’s situation would have been offended by the touching. Again, an attorney can represent you in an action for battery.

PHONE: 530-537-6822

INJURY TO PERSON: FALSE IMPRISONMENT

An attorney can represent you in an action for false imprisonment. Robbing persons of their free movement may be actionable in tort. The claim of false imprisonment may allow a plaintiff to obtain a monetary award (which may include punitive damages). To prevail in such an action, the plaintiff must show (where there has been no arrest): That the defendant intentionally deprived the plaintiff of his freedom of movement by use of physical barriers, force, threats of force, menace, fraud, deceit, or unreasonable duress; That the restraint, confinement, or detention compelled the plaintiff to stay or go somewhere for some appreciable time, however short; That the plaintiff did not knowingly or voluntarily consent; That the plaintiff was actually harmed; & That the defendant’s conduct was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s harm. The plaintiff need not have been aware that he was being restrained, confined, or detained at the time. Nominal damages (e.g., $1) may be awarded where the first and third facts above are alone proven. Again, attorney can represent you in an action for false imprisonment.

PHONE: 530-537-6822

INJURY TO PERSON: INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS

An attorney can represent you in an action for intentional infliction of emotional distress. The tort of intentional infliction of emotion distress occurs where the defendant’s actions are “intentionally intrusive and outrageous and has a severe and traumatic effect on the plaintiff’s emotional tranquility.” (Kraslawsky v. Upper Deck Co. (1997) 56 CA4th 179, 194.) To prevail in such a claim, the plaintiff must show: That the defendant’s conduct was outrageous; That the defendant intended to cause the plaintiff emotional distress, or that the defendant acted with reckless disregard of the probability that the plaintiff would suffer emotional distress, knowing that the plaintiff was present when the conduct occurred; That the plaintiff suffered severe emotional distress; & That the defendant’s conduct was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s severe emotional distress. The conduct must be so “extreme as to exceed all bounds of that usually tolerated in a civilized community.” And, the defendant’s conduct must be “intended to inflict injury or engaged in with the realization that injury will result.” (Hughes v. Pair (2009) 46 Cal.4th 1035, 1050-1051.)“Severe emotional distress [is] emotional distress of such substantial quantity or enduring quality that no reasonable man in a civilized society should be expected to endure it.” (Fletcher v. Western Life Insurance Co. (1970) 10 CA3d 376, 397.) Again, an attorney can represent you in an action for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

PHONE: 530-537-6822

INJURY TO PERSON: NEGLIGENT INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS

An attorney can represent you in an action for negligent infliction of emotional distress. Unlike intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress is not a separate action but a form of negligence. Although there is no general duty to avoid causing emotional harm to others, such a duty is recognized as it relates to direct victims, that is, persons who suffer serious emotional harm as the result of the defendant’s breach of duty of care owed directly to them (e.g., duty assumed by defendant, imposed on defendant as a matter of law, or arises out of a special relationship with plaintiff) or to persons who suffer serious injury as a result of witnessing a family member being physically injured by the defendant’s negligent conduct. Again, an attorney can represent you in an action for negligent infliction of emotional distress.

PHONE: 530-537-6822

INVASION OF PRIVACY: FALSE LIGHT

An attorney can represent you in an action for false light. Damaging one’s public identity by attributing to that person characteristics, conduct, or beliefs, which are false, may give rise to civil liability. To prevail in a claim for false light, the plaintiff must prove: The defendant publicized information or material that showed the plaintiff in a false light; The false light created by the publication would be highly offensive to a reasonable person in the plaintiff’s position; There is clear and convincing evidence that the defendant knew the publication would create a false impression about the plaintiff or acted with reckless disregard for the truth, or the defendant was negligent in determining the truth created by its publication; The plaintiff was harmed, or sustained harm to his property, business, profession, or occupation (including money spent as a result of the statement(s)); & The defendant’s conduct was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s harm. In deciding whether the defendant publicized the information or material, it will be considered whether the publication was made public either by communicating it to the public at large or to so many people that the information or material was substantially certain to become public knowledge. Again, attorney can represent you in an action for false light.

PHONE: 530-537-6822

INVASION OF PRIVACY: INTRUSION INTO PRIVATE AFFAIRS

An attorney can represent you in an action for intrusion into private affairs. Violating the privacy of another person, in a highly offensive manner, may give rise to civil liability. To prevail in a claim for intrusion into private affairs, the plaintiff must prove: The plaintiff had a reasonable expectation of privacy in a specific place or circumstance; The defendant intentionally intruded in a specific place or circumstance; The defendant’s intrusion would be highly offensive to a reasonable person; The plaintiff was harmed; & The defendant’s conduct was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s harm. In deciding whether the plaintiff had a reasonable expectation of privacy in a specific place or circumstance, the following factors are considered: The identity of the defendant; the extent to which other persons had access to a specific place or circumstance and could see or hear the plaintiff; & the means by which the intrusion occurred. In deciding whether an intrusion is highly offensive to a reasonable person, the following factors are considered: The extent of the intrusion; the defendant’s motives and goals; & the setting in which the intrusion occurred. The plaintiff may recover compensatory damages for harm resulting from the defendant’s conduct. Punitive damages may also be available upon a proper showing of oppression, fraud, or malice. Injunctive relief may also be available. Again, an attorney can represent you in an action for intrusion into private affairs.

PHONE: 530-537-6822

INVASION OF PRIVACY: PUBLIC DISCLOSURE OF PRIVATE FACTS

An attorney can represent you in an action for public disclosure of private facts. Publicizing “non-newsworthy” details of a private person’s life may give rise to civil liability. To prevail in a claim for public disclosure of private facts, the plaintiff must prove: The defendant publicized private information concerning the plaintiff; A reasonable person in the plaintiff’s position would consider the publicity highly offensive; The defendant knew, or acted with reckless disregard of the fact, that a reasonable person in the plaintiff’s position would consider the publicity highly offensive; The private information was not of legitimate public concern, or did not have a substantial connection to a matter of legitimate public concern; The plaintiff was harmed; & The defendant’s conduct was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s harm. In deciding whether the information was a matter of legitimate public concern, the following factors are considered: The social value of the information; the extent of the intrusion into the plaintiff’s privacy; & whether the plaintiff consented to the publicity explicitly or by voluntarily seeking public attention or a public office. In the appropriate case, additional factors may also be considered. The plaintiff may recover compensatory damages for harm resulting from the defendant’s conduct. Punitive damages may also be available upon a proper showing of oppression, fraud, or malice. Again, an attorney can represent you in an action for public disclosure of private facts.

PHONE: 530-537-6822

INJURY TO REPUTATION: DEFAMATION

Certain false statements published to third parties causing harm may give rise to civil liability. The tort of defamation is subject to several different limitations and qualifications, and an attorney should be relied on to guide a person who believes himself to have been defamed through the process of whether to bring a suit or not and, if suit is brought, during the litigation process.

PHONE: 530-537-6822

MORE…

*** This is not an exhaustive list; James R. Dickinson, Attorney At Law does not commit to accepting representation in all cases falling within this or any other practice area, and those cases which are accepted may be limited in scope, excluding other matters.

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