Criminal Law

951. Battery Committed on School, Park, or Hospital Property

The defendant is charged [in Count ______] with battery against a person on (school property/park property/hospital grounds).

To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:

1. The defendant willfully [and unlawfully] touched <insert name> in a harmful or offensive manner;


2. When the defendant acted, (he/she) was on (school property/park property/the grounds of a hospital)(;/.)

<Give element 3 when instructing on self-defense, defense of another, of reasonable discipline>


3. The defendant did not act (in self-defense[,]/ [or] in defense of someone else[,]/ [or] while reasonably disciplining a child).]

Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose. It is not required that he or she intend to break the law, hurt someone else, or gain any advantage.

The slightest touching can be enough to commit a battery if it is done in a rude or angry way. Making contact with another person, including through his or her clothing, is enough. The touching does not have to cause pain or injury of any kind.

[The touching can be done indirectly by causing an object [or someone else] to touch the other person.]

[A school is any (elementary school/junior high school/four-year high school/senior high school/adult school [or any branch thereof]/opportunity school/continuation high school/regional occupational center/evening high school/technical school/ community college).]

[A park is any publicly maintained or operated park. It does not include any facility that is being used for professional sports or commercial events.]

[A hospital is any facility for the diagnosis, care, and treatment of human illness that is (licensed/specifically exempt from licensing) under state law.]

Bench Notes

Instructional Duty

The court has a sua sponte duty to give an instruction defining the elements of the crime.

If there is sufficient evidence of self-defense or defense of another, the court has a sua sponte duty to instruct on the defense. Give bracketed element 3, the bracketed words "and unlawfully" in element 1, and any appropriate defense instructions. (See CALCRIM Nos. 3470-3477.)

Give the bracketed paragraph on indirect touching if that is an issue. Give any of the bracketed definitions on request depending on the facts in the case.

Related Instructions

CALCRIM No. 960, Simple Battery.

CALCRIM No. 906, Assault Committed on School or Park Property.


Elements. Pen. Code, §§ 240, 243.2.

Willful Defined. Pen. Code, § 7, subd. 1; People v. Lara (1996) 44 Cal.App.4th 102, 107 [51 Cal.Rptr.2d 402].

Least Touching. People v. Myers (1998) 61 Cal.App.4th 328, 335 [71 Cal.Rptr.2d 518] [citing People v. Rocha (1971) 3 Cal.3d 893, 899-900, fn. 12 [92 Cal.Rptr. 172, 479 P.2d 372]].

Secondary Sources

1 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000) Crimes Against the Person, §§ 22, 23.

6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 144, Crimes Against Order, § 144.02 (Matthew Bender).

Related Issues

Touching of Something Attached to or Closely Connected with Person

The committee could not locate any authority on whether it is sufficient to commit a battery if the defendant touches something attached to or closely connected with the person. Thus, the committee has not included this principle in the instruction.

Labor Dispute

Penal Code section 243.2 does not apply to conduct arising during the course of an otherwise lawful labor dispute. (Pen. Code, § 243.2(c).)

(New January 2006)