What Is a Domestic Tort?

When a spouse, partner, acquaintance or stranger causes harm through a negligent or intentional act, you have the right to claim damages for your financial losses and emotional suffering.

At the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C. in San Francisco, California, we are leaders in the emerging field of domestic torts. We seek full compensation for clients who have contracted sexually transmitted diseases or have suffered other harm in domestic relationships.

Some of the most common domestic torts are described below. Each domestic tort lawsuit is different, and success depends on the particular factual and legal issues in the case. An attorney at our firm can review your case and discuss your legal options.

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Types of Domestic Torts

If you have been harmed by a spouse, domestic partner or acquaintance in one of the following ways, you may have a course of action:

Assault and Battery — Physical or emotional harm by violence, the threat of violence, or harassment. A domestic tort action for assault or battery does not require the existence of a restraining order.

False Imprisonment — Restriction of your freedom to move from a bounded area, without your consent. This can occur when a spouse or partner refuses to let you out of a vehicle, room or building, by using threats, intimidation or other actions.

Fraud — Financial losses resulting from theft of goods, ID theft, conversion of property or unauthorized re-titling of assets.

Herpes Transmission — When your spouse or partner infects you with herpes.

HIV Transmission — When your spouse or partner infects you with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress — Intentionally or recklessly causing severe emotional suffering through an act or omission. Our firm will call upon experts in psychology and other specialties to document the nature and extent of these injuries.

Interference with Custody Rights — Abduction of a child, unauthorized relocation of a child, or denial of custody or parenting time in violation of an existing family law order.

Invasion of Privacy — Actions including but not limited to the publication of intimate photos, gaining unauthorized access to an e-mail account, cellphone or computer, wiretapping, or stalking.

Rape or Sexual Abuse — Under California law, sexual activity must be by the consent of both spouses or partners. You can sue your spouse for rape or sexual abuse.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases — The transmission of incurable diseases such as herpes and HIV can constitute a domestic tort. Depending on the individual circumstances, your damages (and resulting financial recovery) are less clear-cut if a spouse or partner infects you with other STDs such as gonorrhea, syphilis or chlamydia.

Spoliation of evidence — Destroying, altering or hiding evidence relevant to a divorce, family law proceeding, or civil lawsuit.

Contact the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C. for a consultation with a lawyer.