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Stephens v. Myers

King’s Bench
172 Eng. Rep. 73 (1830)


The chairman (plaintiff) at a church meeting was sitting at the head of a table that had about six or seven persons sitting between the chairman and a meeting attendee. During some angry discussion, the meeting attendee became vociferous and interrupted the meeting. A motion was made—and carried by a large majority—to oust the attendee from the meeting. The attendee yelled out that the attendee would prefer to pull the chairman from his chair rather than be turned out of the meeting and advanced with a clenched fist toward the chairman, but the attendee was stopped by the churchwarden, who had been sitting one person away from the chairman. Witnesses thought that the attendee intended to hit the chairman. The chairman sued the attendee for assault. The attendee argued that no assault occurred because the attendee had no present ability to hit the chairman when he was stopped by the churchwarden.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Tindal, C.J.)

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