Sherman V. Church of Divine Light (Causes of Action)

Mark A. Puno PA310 – Tort Law Prof. Laurence Mraz 22 May 2011 Unit 1 Assignment CAUSES OF ACTION What are the possible causes of action that one can take against the church? In the case of the fifteen-year-old Rob Jr. , the Church of Devine Light was at fault will be held responsible for the actions of Tom Marsden, an employee of the church, under strict liability. Rob’s parents, Rob Sr. and Bunny, could file charges against Tom Marsden and the Church of Devine Light for negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and false imprisonment. Tom Marsden intentional misled Rob Jr. and brainwashed him into staying with the church.

Mr. Marsden also threatened and assaulted Rob Jr. by telling him “If you leave, you will be thrown into the eternal fires of Hell, and you will not be allowed back. ” This alone is assault, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress on a fifteen-year old child. Furthermore, Mr. Marsden caused emotional distress on Rob Sr. and Bunny. According to the state of mind of Rob Jr. , he did not know whom to believe. When Mr. Marsden told Rob Jr. that he would be thrown in the eternal fires of hell, he was forced to stay because he did not want to be thrown in the fires of hell.

Therefore, Rob Jr. believed Mr. Marsden and decided to stay, which is false imprisonment, because the church held him against his will and the will of his parents. Rob Jr. is still a minor, therefore, still under the guardianship of his parents. Moreover, the church did not allow Rob Jr. to see his parents. His parents had to make an excuse just to see the child, which caused severe infliction of emotional distress on them and by the church not allowing them to see their own child is negligence, because his parents does not know whether the hild is in good health or not. Tom Marsden also told Rob Jr. that he has to ask his parents for money to cover his expenses, which is unjust enrichment. The church held him there for a period of six months and his parents had to make excuses every month to give him money for that month. His parents did not know what to expect from the church, whether the welfare of their son is good or not, because of the misrepresentation that the church had caused. As an adult of this church group, you are responsible for the welfare and protection of the children from harm’s way.

The church should take every precaution not to endanger the children under their supervision. Furthermore, the parents should have every right to see if their children is taken care of and be allowed visitation rights any time of day. The church had exploited the child and their parents by putting the child in danger by brainwashing him, assaulting him, inflicting emotional distress, and false imprisonment. This alone is grounds for intentional tort or strict liability lawsuit.

The parents put their faith and trust on the Church of Devine Light and Tom Marsden, but instead were misled by their actions. Causes of action Intentional Tort: Torts actionable upon evidence of an intent to cause harm on another, such as assault, trespass, false imprisonment, private nuisance, defamation or invasion of privacy. Strict Liability: Tort liability, which is set upon the defendant without need to prove intent, negligence or fault; as long as you can prove that it was the defendant’s object that caused the damage.

Negligence: A failure to act as a reasonable person would be expected to act in similar circumstances. Assault: A person commits an assault when without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly; he attempts or threatens, by an act or a gesture, to apply force to another person, if he has, or causes that other person to believe on reasonable grounds that he has, present ability to effect his purpose; or while openly wearing or carrying a weapon or an imitation thereof, he accosts or impedes another person or begs.

Battery: Offensive and intentional contact, direct or indirect, which causes injury. False Imprisonment: depriving someone of freedom of movement by holding a person in a confined space or by physical restraint including being locked in a car, driven about without opportunity to get out, being tied to a chair or locked in a closet. It may be the follow-up to a false arrest (holding someone in the office of a department store, for example), but more often it resembles a kidnapping with no belief or claim of a legal right to hold the person.

Therefore, false imprisonment is often a crime and if proved is usually the basis of a lawsuit for damages. Infliction of Emotional Distress: Mental Anguish – mental suffering which includes fright, feelings of distress, anxiety, depression, grief and/or psychosomatic physical symptoms. It is distinguished from physical pain due to an injury, but it may be considered in awarding damages for physical injury due to a defendant’s negligence or intentional infliction of harm.

Where there is no physical injury, damages can still be awarded for mental anguish if it is reasonable to presume such would naturally flow from the incident. Examples: holding a pistol to one’s head, any threat of bodily harm when it appears it could be carried out, swinging with a scythe even though the assailant missed, or witnessing injury or death to a loved one. There are also situations in which the obvious result of the alleged wrongdoing would be mental distress due to embarrassment or damage to one’s reputation through libel, and therefore damages can be awarded to the distressed party.

However, there are limits: in general, breach of contract judgments cannot include damages for mental anguish due to the loss of a deal or employment. Then there is the case of the shop that failed to deliver the bridal gown in time for the wedding-mental anguish flows naturally (along with the bride’s tears) from such a breach. Unjust Enrichment: Benefiting from the action or property of another without legal justification.