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Non-consensual contact may be made with either a person or that person’s extended personality. This means that if one person leans forward and yanks the jewelry necklace off another, a battery has occurred, even though the first person never actually touched the neck of the second person. If this act was preceded with an intent to cause the other to apprehend an impending violent yank of the necklace, both an assault and a battery have occurred. If the wrongdoer only intended an assault (causing the other to apprehend an impending violent yank of the necklace) but did not intend to actually complete the violent yank, and yet his hand made contact with, and actually yanked off the necklace, both an assault and a battery have occurred. In other words, if in the process of physically gesturing to violently yank the necklace off, contact is actually made and the necklace is pulled from the other’s neck, a battery has occurred.

The tort rule of “extended personality” applies to both civil and criminal battery. For example, if a person threatens to spit into another’s cup of coffee (clearly offensive and possibly harmful), and then proceeds to do so, both a criminal and civil battery have occurred. In another case involving the issue of extended contact, a Texas hotel manager was found guilty of a battery when he snatched away a patron’s dinner plate in a “loud and offensive manner,” even though the contact did not result in any physical harm to the diner.


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