Montclair, CA asked in Personal Injury and Civil Litigation for California

Q: Can I use a defense that was upheld in a Circuit Court decision in another state regarding a personal injury claim?

I am filing a small claims complaint and suing for the max in CA (10k) for lost wages etc. An ex boyfriend assaulted me and I was hospitalized for a broken leg. His grandmother owns the house but I'm unable to file a homeowners ins claim as this was an intentional act. He has no job and nothing to sue. I am including his mother and feel I can prove liability as she has foreseeable knowledge of his propensity for violence and contributes by enabling and controlling his lifestyle. A Circuit Court in IL upheld a decision rendering, Parents Responsible for Acts of Adult Children section 319 Restatement of 316 Restatement (Second) Torts statue etc etc. Can I reference the sections that apply? I would like to add a Circuit Courts decision to my own strong evidence of liability. Aside from the money, which I feel is a small amount considering the severity of my injury, but my only hope, I'm also trying to prevent him from hurting others. I learned he has a history of violence. Thank you

3 Lawyer Answers
William John Light
William John Light
Answered
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I doubt that you need to cite to Illinois authority. The Restatement is citeable authority. There is also plenty of CA authority that a property owner/landlord is liable for dangerous conditions on their property, including criminal acts, if the landlord/property owner had advance notice of prior similar incidents of criminal activity.

Theodore Allan Greene
Theodore Allan Greene
Answered
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You certainly should try but don't expect a lot of brilliant legal analysis by the small claims court pro tems. You should try to keep your citations brief and only use California authority and the Restatement but if you throw in the out of state stuff then put it in at the end after the more relevant stuff.

Alex Ozols
Alex Ozols
Answered
  • Huntington Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: No you cannot. You can mention it as "persuasive authority" but not actual authority. The only actual authority would be from a higher court in the same state.

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