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Intentional Torts: Assault and Battery

While the State may initiate a criminal action against a person who commits an assault and battery on another, the victim of the intentional act may under certain circumstances separately file a civil lawsuit against the wrongdoer known as an “intentional tort.”

In an intentional tort, the injured individual can sue the wrongdoer for pain and suffering, lost wages, permanent disfigurement, and other damages. In this regard, any non-consensual touching may constitute a common law battery, provided there is both physical contact and an intent on the part of the wrongdoer to cause a harmful or offensive contact, or to cause apprehension by the plaintiff of imminent contact or harm.

Although a guilty plea to resisting arrest bars a civil assault and battery claim based on police use of excessive force during an arrest, the plea does not bar a claim of unlawful use of force after the person was arrested. However, claims against the police and other public entities are subject to strict time limitations, thus it is imperative that you contact an experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer without delay to preserve your claim if you have been the victim of police brutality.