Case Law

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CASE LAW for CAPC 198.5 Castling Law:  expanded to include NJ #159

32California Penal Code 198.5 -- Use of deadly force by any person within his or her residence against an intruder; presumption of fear of death or great bodily injury. ("Any person using force intended or likely to cause death or great bodily injury within his or her residence shall be presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily injury to self, family, or a member of the household when that force is used against another person, not a member of the family or household, who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and forcibly entered the residence and the person using the force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred.") [California self-defense law]

37Judicial Council Of California Criminal Jury Instruction 3475 - Right to Eject Trespasser From Real Property. ("The (owner/lawful occupant) of a (home/property) may request that a trespasser leave the (home/property). If the trespasser does not leave within a reasonable time and it would appear to a reasonable person that the trespasser poses a threat to (the (home/property)/ [or] the (owner/ [or] occupants), the (owner/lawful occupant) may [exercise self-defense and] use reasonable force to make the trespasser leave.")

Selected Case Law

Federal Laws

  • 18 USC 2261A Interstate Stalking
  • 47 USC 223 Obscene or Harassing Telephone Calls in the District of Columbia or in Interstate or Foreign Communications


Agis v. Howard Johnson Co., 371 Mass. 140 (1976). Expanded liability to cases without physical harm. Court held that "one who, by extreme and outrageous conduct and without privilege causes severe emotional distress to another is subject to liability for such emotional distress even though no bodily harm may result."

Brown v. Nutter, McClennen and Fish, 45 Mass. App.Ct. 212 (1998). Legal secretary brought action against law firm and one of its attorneys for emotional distress. Court held that while the Workers' Compensation Act barred her claim against the firm, it did not immunize the attorney from personal liability.

Commonwealth v. Alphas, 430 Mass. 8 (1999). "In order to convict a defendant under 'following' prong of stalking statute, Commonwealth is required to prove more than two incidents of following."

Commonwealth v. Richards, 426 Mass. 689 (1998). Court held MGL chapter 269, section 14A does not apply to allegedly annoying facsimile transmissions.

Commonwealth v. Wotan, 422 Mass. 740 (1996). "Term 'repeatedly' in statute making it a misdemeanor to telephone someone repeatedly solely to harass, annoy or molest requires three or more telephone calls."

George v. Jordan Marsh Co., 359 Mass. 244 (1971). Court held that "one who, without a privilege to do so, by extreme and outrageous conduct intentionally causes severe emotional distress to another, with bodily harm resulting from such distress, is subject to liability."

O'Brien v. Borowski, 461 Mass. 415 (2012). G.L. c.258E held to be constitutional. Also, prior to this case, the only review available was to seek relief from a single justice of this court under G. L. c. 211, § 3. "After the date of the issuance of the rescript in this case, all litigants seeking judicial review of harassment prevention orders issued pursuant to G. L. c. 258E are directed to the Appeals Court."

Payton v. Abbott Labs, 386 Mass. 540 (1982). Great summary of the history of the tort and its required elements.

Quinn v. Walsh, 49 Mass.App.Ct. 696 (2000). "Openly conducting adulterous affair was not sufficiently outrageous conduct to support claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress."


Copyright 2012 DeeAnna Blette