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Courvoisier v. Raymond

Colorado Supreme Court
47 P. 284 (Colo. 1896)



Courvoisier (defendant) owned a jewelry store located on the first floor of a building. Courvoisier lived on the floor above the jewelry store. One evening, Courvoisier was sleeping in his room when he heard several men attempt to break into the jewelry store. The men came to the second floor of the building, and Courvoisier heard them knocking loudly on the door of the room where his sister was sleeping. Courvoisier took out his revolver and fired one shot attempting to scare the men. The men moved out to the street in front of the jewelry store, but did not run away. Instead, they began cursing and hurling sticks and rocks at Courvoisier. Meanwhile, Raymond (plaintiff), a police officer, and two other officers heard the commotion and came toward the crowd of men with the goal of arresting them. Raymond walked toward Courvoisier and called out to him. Courvoisier said that he saw Raymond reaching for his hip pocket and coming toward him. Courvoisier did not know that Raymond was a police officer, but believed he intended to attack him. Courvoisier fired his gun at Raymond and injured him. Raymond brought suit against Courvoisier for his injuries on the ground that Courvoisier recklessly fired the shot in question. At trial, the jury was instructed that if it found that Raymond was not attacking Courvoisier at the time he was shot, it should enter judgment for Raymond. The jury found for Raymond, and Courvoisier appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Hayt, C.J.)

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