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Posted: January 31st, 2023

Criminal law

Criminal law

The Possible Legal Claims that Paula Could Make Against Cash Mart
The possible legal claims that Paula could make against Cash Mart and Geoffrey are negligence and intentional wrong. She can sue Geoffrey for intentional wrong and Cash Mart for negligence. Negligence occurs when a person does not behave as per the expected legal standards to protect another individual from personal injury. Negligence is a criminal action which Paula can sue Geoffrey for and be awarded damages. For Cash Mart, the possible legal claim that she can make is intentional wrong, for her to win the case; however, the elements of negligence must be present. She can sue Cash Mart for defamation, emotional distress and false imprisonment.
Elements of Intentional Wrong
To prove intentional wrong, the plaintiff should prove that the defendant’s actions were willful, recklessness, or they caused harm knowingly (Cryer, Robinson & Vasiliev, 2019). If Paula sues Cash Mart for intentional wrong, she, therefore, has to prove these elements. Proving intent is challenging, and in this, the defendant may argue that they detained Paula because she could have walked away. Proving false detention will be challenging as Cash Mart are authorized by the “shopkeeper’s privilege” to detain a suspected customer for a reasonable time and in a reasonable manner. The privilege, however, should not be misused as if there is a low degree of probable cause the customer can argue that they were falsely detained (Cryer, Robinson & Vasiliev, 2019).
False detention
In this case, Paula can make false detention claim against Cash Mart as there was minimum probable cause for her detainment. She was suspected of having shoplifted because of walking fast from the shop and had to wait for more than an hour. This period is unreasonable since all that needed was to search whether she had anything from the shop in the bag. Also, after waiting for this time, no search was conducted to establish the claims made by the security guard. She can, therefore, argue that the guard willfully detained her with the intent of causing emotional distress.
Infliction of Emotional Distress
The security guard inflicts emotional distress to Paula by threatening her that if she attempts to get away, she will be arrested and jailed. Even when the guard leaves the room, she cannot leave the room for fear of being jailed.
The security guard made untrue accusations that are likely to cause emotional distress and tarnish Paula’s reputation. Paula can, therefore, sue for slander defamation and argue that the words said by the guard undermined her reputation. Defamation exposes the victim to ridicule, competent and hatred and makes the society look down on her/her (Cryer, Robinson & Vasiliev, 2019). Words are powerful although Paula was innocent; those who saw her being escorted by the guard are likely to see her as a potential shoplifter.
Geoffrey Negligence
Geoffrey was negligent when he decided to hit the ball intentionally to break out his new driver knowing that the golf ball could hit anyone in the parking. Negligence refers to a breach of the duty of care. Duty of care requires people to take the responsibility of all the actions that they engage in knowingly or unknowingly that cause damage of any kind. There are different types of negligence that can be proven to charge Geoffrey for the crime committed (Herbert, 2019). The types of negligence include gross negligence, where one acts in a careless manner showing a complete lack of concern about the safety of other people. Geoffrey did not care about the kind of injury that the golf ball could cause to the affected person.
The other type of negligence is the comparative negligence that makes the plaintiff marginally responsible for the injuries caused and is forced to pay a certain percentage of the damages caused by the injury. The court determines the amount to be paid to the victim who was injured. The comparative negligence law requires the plaintiff to pay for medical expenses that will be incurred to treat the patient because it’s the negligence of the plaintiff that caused the injury (Herbert, 2019). The prosecution has to prove that Geoffrey committed the crime and the intentions of the crime committed. Negligence cases revolve around the contribution of the plaintiff to his damages in which Geoffrey fully contributed to the injury of Paula.
Negligence Claim
If Paula files a negligence claim against Geoffrey, she will file in a civil court that will solve the dispute and enable Paula to get compensation for the injury caused if Geoffrey will be found to have committed the injury due to negligence. Negligence cases are civil cases because the negligence that caused the injury caused harm, and the affected person is entitled to compensation (Mince-Didier, 2020). The wrongdoer is supposed to meet the duty of care for their actions.
There are significant differences between criminal and civil courts; criminal courts focus on cases that are criminal in nature, government cases, and conflict between different parties’ cases. Civil courts handle cases between individuals and organizations, and the cases involve financial matters that the conflicting parties want to be solved (Mince-Didier, 2020). The attorneys specialize either in criminal cases or in civil cases. The burden of proof is also different were in criminal cases; the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the crime was actually committed by the defendant. The burden of proof for civil cases is less where the preponderance of the evidence is required to be at least fifty percent.

Cryer, R., Robinson, D., & Vasiliev, S. (2019). An introduction to international criminal law and procedure. Cambridge University Press.
Herbert, A. (2019). Types of Negligence in Accidents. Texas Injury Attorney. Retrieved 27 July 2020, from
Mince-Didier, A. (2020). What Is the Difference Between Civil and Criminal Court?. Retrieved from

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