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Peters v. Detman Coursework (Coursework Sample)


Organize a proof of your conclusion of what the law is using the following CRRAC model (a predictive form of IRAC):


C:  Your conclusion—is the element of the cause of action met?

R:  The rule or principle—the law that tells you the element is met.

E:  Rule proof—explain the cases where you found the rule by giving the critical facts from the case, the reasoning and holding of the court. 

A:  Apply the rule to the facts of the Peters/Detman dispute by showing how they are “like” or “unlike” the facts of the precedent case.  If there is counter analysis, put it here.  This is what you think Detman might assert, but do not say, “Detman may assert…” because there are more effective ways to couch it. 


C:  Restate you conclusion.  “Therefore…”                     


For instance, one of the elements for an IIED claim is that the wrongdoer’s conduct was “outrageous.”  Here is an example of how to prove that Detman’s conduct was outrageous using a synthesized rule from the Dominguez and LaPorte cases. 


A Florida court would hold that Detman’s conduct was outrageous when he refused to turn out his beach lights, so Peters could emerge from her nude swim in privacy.  Outrageous behavior arises when an actor has actual or apparent authority over the other knowing that the other is peculiarly susceptible to emotional distress by reason of “a physical or mental condition or peculiarity,” and demonstrates extreme indifference to the rights of others. Dominguez v. Equitable Life Assurance, 438 So. 2d 58, 62 (Fla. 1983). La Porte v. Assoc. Indep., Inc., 163 So. 2d 267, 268 (Fla. 1964).  

One acting with apparent authority against a susceptible person knowing that emotional distress may result acts outrageously. Dominguez, 438 So. 2d at 62. Dominguez brought suit against his disability insurance company when it ceased payments to him after an agent fraudulently stated to him that he was no longer covered under the policy.  The trial court dismissed his complaint, and the appellate court reversed holding that because Equitable had a position of power over him in wrongly cutting off his payments and being aware of his disabilities and thus his susceptibility to emotional distress, it had acted outrageously against him. Id

One acting with extreme indifference to another’s rights acts outrageously. LaPorte, 163 So. 2d. at 268. In this case the court awarded damages to La Porte for the loss of her dog when a trash collector hurled an empty can at it, killed it, and left laughing. The court held that such an act implies great indifference to the persons, property, or rights of others and is outrageous. Id.

In the same way that the insurance agent had a position of power over Dominguez, Detman was in a position of power over Peters in controlling a light switch and the illumination of a small cove where she, a seventy three year-old woman pleaded with him, cold and naked, to turn off the lights so she could emerge with some modesty from the water while he and his friends watched. Like LaPorte, Detman acted with indifference to Peters’ plight in the water, acting outrageously. Therefore, acting from a position of power and great indifference over someone Detman knew was helpless will be held as outrageous conduct by a Florida court.


Case Study
Wise & Associates
1133 Westwood Blvd.
West Palm Beach, Florida
TO: Senior PartnerFROM: AssociateDATE: RE: Peters v. Detman
This memorandum addresses the potential claims that our client Anne Peters can make against her neighbors, Don and Betty Detman, for the violations of the Florida's Spite Fence statute and the infliction of emotional distress.
Factual Background
Anne peters is a seventy threes year old and owns property in West Palm Beach at 915 Sea Crest Drive in Florida. Anne has lived at the residence for most of her life at peace with the rest of the neighbors. However, six months ago some new neighbors, Don and Betty Detman both forty eight years old, moved in at 905 Sea Crest Drive, next to Anne's property. Don Detman has started out as a center and later on build a successful building company, which he sold to by the property at Sea Crest Drive. After Don moved in, he built a tennis court on the property, on which they would play most of the time. Peters is an avid gardener and has had a flower garden which attends to most of the time, near the property line. With the noise coming from the tennis court, Peters was disturbed and would not attend to her flowers as she used to. When she made a complaint to Don, he replied bluntly saying that he could do as he wished on his property. Occasionally some of the tennis balls would cross over onto peters and ne time a tennis ball startled her, when it hit a rose bush she was working on. In that instance, she angrily asked Don to keep the tennis balls on his side of the fence.
The next day, Don elected a fence that was twelve feet high into the air to prevent the tennis balls from crossing over onto Peters property. However, the fence blocked the sun from reaching the flowers on the garden due to the shade created and the flowers have since turned yellow with several of them dying. When Peters requested that they find a better way of keeping away the balls ...
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