CACI No. 1320. Intent

Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (2020 edition)

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1320.Intent
[Name of defendant] acted intentionally if [he/she/nonbinary pronoun]
intended to [insert facts, e.g., “assault [name of plaintiff],” “commit a
battery”] or if [he/she/nonbinary pronoun] was substantially certain that
the [insert facts, e.g., “assault,” “battery”] would result from
[his/her/nonbinary pronoun] conduct.
New September 2003
Directions for Use
This instruction may be used to define intent for other intentional torts, where
appropriate.
Sources and Authority
• “In an action for civil battery the element of intent is satisfied if the evidence
shows defendant acted with a ‘willful disregard’ of the plaintiff’s rights.”
(Ashcraft v. King (1991) 228 Cal.App.3d 604, 613 [278 Cal.Rptr. 900], internal
citation omitted.)
• “As a general rule, California law recognizes that ‘. . . every person is
presumed to intend the natural and probable consequences of his acts.’ Thus, a
person who acts willfully may be said to intend ‘ “ ‘those consequences which
(a) represent the very purpose for which an act is done (regardless of the
likelihood of occurrence), or (b) are known to be substantially certain to result
(regardless of desire).’ ” ’ The same definition is applied to many intentional
torts.” (Gomez v. Acquistapace (1996) 50 Cal.App.4th 740, 746 [57 Cal.Rptr.2d
821], internal citations omitted.)
Secondary Sources
5 Witkin, Summary of California Law (10th ed. 2005) Torts, § 384
6 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 58, Assault and Battery, § 58.13[1]
(Matthew Bender)
2 California Points and Authorities, Ch. 21, Assault and Battery, § 21.20 (Matthew
Bender)
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