Home

Back to Table of Contents

Yomba Shoshone Tribe Law and Order Code

Approved: 2001

TITLE THREE - TORTS


A. DEFINITIONS


Sec. 1
Words and Terms Defined

a. Apprehension - Awareness of a physical act likely to occur.

b. Consent - A voluntary agreement to do something or allow something to be done which is proposed by another.

c. Contributory Negligence - The negligence of the party complaining of injury.

d. Intention - An act is performed intentionally when the act is performed with the purpose of causing the intended harm or when the act is performed with knowledge to the substantial certainty that the intended harm will result.

e. Landlord - One who rents land or dwelling to another.

f. Minor - A child under the age of 18 years.

g. Tort - A wrongful act or omission which causes injury to another.


B. TORTS TO THE PERSON


Sec. 1 Assault

a. A party who acts in such a manner as to intentionally place person, without his consent in a reasonable apprehension of immediate battery, is liable to the party for any pain or injury caused by the conduct.

b. Apprehension must be such as it would normally be aroused in the mind of a reasonable person.


Sec. 2 Battery

a. A party who intentionally touches another person or something he's in contact with, without his consent, in a harmful or offensive manner is liable for any pain or injury caused by such conduct.

b. A party who intends to commit an assault or battery on one person, and by accident, commits an assault or battery on a third person, is liable to such third person for any injury caused by reason of his conduct.


Sec. 3 Defenses to a Lawsuit for Assault and/or Battery

a. Consent

b. A reasonable degree of force may be used in self-defense when there's a reasonable apprehension of battery present.

c. A reasonable degree of force may be used to defend real property after a request to depart has been made or where circumstances exist under which such request would be futile.

d. A reasonable degree of force may be used to recover personal property when the party is in immediate hot pursuit of the offender.

e. A reasonable degree of force may be used by a parent or by a teacher with a parent's permission, to discipline a minor.

f. A person is justified in using force which is intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily injury only if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to himself or a third person.


Sec. 4
False Imprisonment

a. A party who intentionally detains a person against his will in such a manner as to deprive that person of his liberty is liable to such person for any emotional, mental, or physical injury caused.

b. The following are defenses to an action for false imprisonment:

(1) A legal right to confine.

(2) Citizen arresting a party in a reasonable belief that a felony has been committed by that party.

(3) A citizen arresting a party for a misdemeanor committed, in his presence, by that party.


Sec. 5 Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

A party who intentionally causes severe emotional distress by extreme and outrageous conduct is liable for the pain and suffering caused by his conduct.


Sec. 6 Defamation of Character and Injury to Reputation

a. A party who intentionally in written or oral form makes a false statement to a third person which exposes someone to public hatred, contempt, or ridicule, and causes damage to such party's reputation is liable for the damages caused by such conduct. A lawsuit for defamation doesn't survive the death categories.

b. Slander is oral defamation. No lawsuit can be brought for slander without proof of special damages unless it falls within one or more of the following categories:

(1) Loathsome disease.

(2) Accusation of a crime.

(3) Statements adversely affecting a party in his trade or business.

c. Libel is written defamation. A lawsuit for libel may be brought without proof of special damages.

d. Defenses to lawsuits for defamation of character:

(1) Truth.

(2) Statements in the course of Court proceedings or Tribal Council or committee proceedings.

(3) Statements of opinion made without malice.


Sec. 7 Invasion of the Right to Privacy

a. A party who intentionally violates the privacy of another in such a way as to be objectionable to a person's reasonable sensitivity is liable to the person for the distress caused by the conduct.

b. A party who uses the name, picture, or personality of another for a commercial use, without permission, is liable to such person for damages caused by such conduct or the reasonable value of the use of his name, picture, or personality.

c. A party who discloses nonpublic information concerning another in such a manner as to offend a reasonable person's sensibility is liable to the person about whom the disclosure was made, for any damages caused by the disclosure.


C. INTENTIONAL TORTS TO PROPERTY


Sec. 1 Trespass to Real Property

a. A party who voluntarily enters real property in the possession of another is liable to the party in possession for injury caused by the invasion.

b. Defenses to lawsuits for trespass through, to or upon real property:

(1) Consent of the person in possession of the property.

(2) Entry made to reclaim property on the land of a person in possession of said property, after reasonable demand has been made and when the property is on the land through no fault of the trespasser.

(a) This section doesn't apply to goods delivered under an installment sales contract.

(3) Entry made necessary in order to benefit the public.

(4) Entry pursuant to a Court Order.

(5) Entry by mistake induced by the conduct of the party in possession.


Sec. 2 Interference With Personal Property

A party who intentionally interferes with the personal property of another, is liable for any damage suffered by reason of such conduct. Damage may include loss of use of property, as well as injury to the property.


D. UNFAIR INTERFERENCE WITH ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIPS


Sec. 1 Interference With Contractual Relations

A party who intentionally interferes with an existing contractual relationship is liable for damages, caused by the interference, unless the contract is illegal or he is privileged to interfere.


Sec. 2 Interference With Prospective Economic Advantage

A party who intentionally interferes with the prospective economic advantage of another person is liable, in damages, for any injury caused by that conduct.


E. FRAUD, MISREPRESENTATION, AND DECEIT

A party who, intentionally or in reckless disregard of the truth, misrepresents a past or present fact to another person, intending that the misrepresentation be relied on, is liable for damages suffered in reliance on such misrepresentation.


F. NEGLIGENCE


Sec. 1 In General

a. A party who has a duty to use and fails to use reasonable care thereby causing harm to the person or property of another, is liable for the harm caused by reason of his conduct.

b. Any person, within the jurisdiction of the Tribe, who renders emergency care or assistance in an emergency, gratuitously and in good faith, shall not be held liable for any civil damages as a result of any act or omission, not amounting to gross negligence, by such person in rendering the emergency care or assistance or as a result of any act or failure to act, not amounting to gross negligence, to provide or arrange further medial treatment for the injured person.

c. A party who causes harm to an unborn child, able to live apart from his mother, by failing to use reasonable care is liable to such child for injuries caused by reason of his conduct.


Sec. 2 Special Situations Involving Reasonable Care

a. Where it must be determined whether a person engaged in a profession has acted with reasonable care, that decision should be made by deciding whether the care exercised was in accordance with the skill and learning commonly possessed by a member in good standing in the same profession, in that area.

b. A party who violates a Section of this Law and Order Code or other law applicable within the boundaries of the Reservation requiring a certain standard or conduct to be exercised to protect a class of persons will be presumed to have failed to have used reasonable care if anyone in the class has been injured as a result of the violation. The law violated must protect against the type of harm suffered.

c. Where a party in exclusive control of an instrumentality which causes an accident which would not have ordinarily occurred without negligence, that party will have been presumed to have failed to use reasonable care.


Sec. 3
Proximate Cause

Any party causing physical injury to another as a result of his failure to use reasonable care is liable for all harm suffered, including injuries that one could not reasonably foresee. A party causing harm to property of another as a result of his failure to use reasonable care is liable only for damages which are reasonably foreseeable.


Sec. 4 Comparative Negligence

a. The contributory negligence (fault) of a plaintiff shall not prevent a recovery if the negligence of the person seeking recovery is less than the negligence of the person against whom the recovery is sought. Any damages allowed shall be diminished in proportion to the amount of negligence attributable to the person seeking recovery.

b. Where the recovery is allowed against more than one defendant in such an action, the defendants are jointly and severely liable to the plaintiff, except that a defendant whose negligence is less than that of the plaintiff or his decedent, is jointly and severely liable to the plaintiff only for that portion of the judgment which represents the percentage of negligence attributable to him.


Sec. 5
Negligent Liability in Real Property Cases

a. A party in possession of land has a duty to use reasonable care to keep his land safe for all person who may, foreseeably, enter his land. Whether a party in possession of the land has exercised his duty to use reasonable care depends partly on the likelihood of entry.

b. Landlord liability:

(1) A landlord is liable, to those injured, by his failure to use reasonable care on the premises controlled by him.

(2) A landlord is liable, to those injured, by his failure to use reasonable care where the person(s) are injured by an unreasonably dangerous condition known to the landlord and concealed, by him, when the property was turned over to the tenant.

(3) A landlord is liable for injuries caused by his failure to use reasonable care when he agreed to make and failed to make repairs.


Sec. 6 Strict Liability

a. In certain instances, a party will be liable for injuries suffered in the absence of negligence.

b. The possessor of wild animals is strictly liable for injury caused by such animal to another. A wild animal includes any domesticated wild animal otherwise considered tame by its possessor

c. One who engages in ultrahazardous activity will be held strictly liable for any reasonably foreseeable damage caused to person(s) or property by such activity


G. VICARIOUS LIABILITY


Sec. 1 In General

a. The parent(s) or guardian of a minor child is liable for ail damage caused by the intentional torts of that child Liability, under this Section, will not exceed $10,000.00

b. Any liability imposed upon a wife, husband, son, daughter, father, mother, brother, sister or other immediate family member arising out of his driving and operating a motor vehicle upon a highway with the permission, expressed or implied, of such owner shall be jointly and severely liable with his or her wife, husband, son, daughter, father, mother, brother, sister, or other immediate family member for any damages proximately resulting from such negligence or willful misconduct, and such negligence or willful misconduct shall be imputed to the owner of the motor vehicle for all purposes of civil damages.

(1) In any action against an owner on account of imputed negligence as imposed by this Section, the operator of the motor vehicle whose negligence is imputed to the owner, shall be made a party defendant if service of process can be had upon the operator as provided by law. Upon recovery of judgment, recourse shall first be had against the property of the operator so served.

c. An employer is liable for the negligence of his employee within the scope of employment for injuries caused to the person or property of a third person, except when the Tribe is the employer.


H. PRODUCT LIABILITY

Any seller of goods who places an article on the market, which is in a defective condition, unreasonably dangerous to the user, or any third person who may foreseeably be injured, is liable for damages caused by the defective condition of the product.


I. DAMAGES


Sec. 1 General Damages

Those damages which necessarily result from a certain type of injury.


Sec. 2
Special Damages

a. Those damages which are the actual, but not necessary, result of the injury complained of and which occur by reason of special circumstances or conditions. Special damages may include, but are not limited to:

(1) Loss of wages.

(2) Medical expenses.

(3) Property damage.


Sec. 3 Punitive Damages

Those damages awarded at the discretion of the Court in order to punish a wrong doer for his malicious act.

Back to Top

Home  |   Search  |   Disclaimer  |   Privacy Statement  |   Site Map