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Haeussler v. De Loretto

Court of Appeal of California
240 P.2d 654 (1952)


Facts

Harold Haeussler (plaintiff) went to the house of his neighbor, Emil De Loretto (defendant), at night to inquire about Haeussler’s dog, which was missing and which often went next door. When De Loretto opened the door, Haeussler’s dog ran out. Haeussler loudly protested De Loretto’s taking the dog, and the men began to argue. Haeussler was waving his hands and his face was flushed as though intoxicated. De Loretto grew somewhat afraid, in particular because he knew that Haeussler had assaulted a friend of his in the past. When De Loretto ordered Haeussler to leave, Haeussler moved forward aggressively. De Loretto punched Haeussler in the face, damaging two of Haeussler’s teeth. Haeussler sued De Loretto in a California state court for assault and battery. De Loretto pleaded self-defense. After a nonjury trial, the court found in De Loretto’s favor. Haeussler appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Vallée, J.)

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