• Legis Scriptor

Torts Law And Domestic Disputes

Authored by Sweta Upadhyay

Keywords: Tort law, domestic violence, assault, battery, vicarious liability.


This topic is about the concept of Torts law and domestic disputes and highlights the particular issues. It describes parent’s vicarious liability for their children act. The article finally reviews husband’s liability for wife act. And discuss some important cases.


The term, “Tort” springs from the Latin word, “Tortum” this implies to state or cooked or wrong. Under family law (Hindu law, and Muslim law) torts have much narrow conceptions then the torts of English law. The punishment of the crime in this system is occupied a more prominent please than the compensation for wrong. Domestic Dispute may be a legal term which simply mean’s dispute arises between relations. Any sort of quarrel between loved one and which can or might not include violence with family. Domestic Relations is an evolving area of Tort Law handling the interior functions of a family. The evolution of Domestic Relations Tort has not only influenced the way during which relations can collect as a results of tortuous behaviour for damages or interference with the relatives itself; it's influenced the way during which husbands, wives, children, and legal guardians are seen as legal entities.

TORTS IN FAMILY: In a family, our elders or superior may acted on behalf of the younger or junior. Almost every the sphere, unless and until we become Major our elders act on behalf their minor child. The law of Tort acknowledged a comparable right to sue, equivalent to secondary liability, where an elder can act on behalf of his/her younger/subordinate. This application of property rights to family law cases enabled husbands and fathers to recover damages from tortfeasors for injury to members of the family.

Vicarious Liability: The parent is vicariously liable, despite not being directly liable for the injury. Once the kid is of majority age (which is 18 years), the kid is no longer a minor and therefore the parents aren't any longer liable. There has been a termination of parental rights over a minor; the parent also won’t be responsible for any acts of the minor because the legal parent-child relationship has ended.

Parental liability: If a minor child physically harmed someone or damaged their property? Than parents are be financially responsible under a theory of parental liability.

Negligence supervision: Parent is accountable for a child's negligent acts if the parent knows or has reason to understand that it's necessary to regulate the child and therefore the parent fails to require reasonable actions to try and do so. This legal theory is understood as negligent supervision.

The "Family Car" Doctrine: Parentalliability arises through the Family Car Doctrine, this doctrine holds the owner of a family car is legally chargeable for any damage caused by a loved one while driving, if the owner of the family car is aware that the family car is used by a minor family member.In that case the doctrine of family car is applicable.. This doctrine is applied by about most states and is come under the broader theory of negligent entrustment.

In Emery v. Emery,[1] the California Court held that a parent is subject to liable for an action in tort for wilful misconduct (complaint alleging that a minor child was driving a car under the direction of his father, was unskilled, had not slept for 24 hours, which speed was excessive-facts known to parent). In this case, the father is held liable for the act of his child.

In the case of Bebee v. Sales, [2]the father supplied an airgun to his son who was 15 years aged. Even after such a lot of complaints of mischief caused by the gun, he allowed the gun to stay with the boy, who accidentally wounded the plaintiff. For that the father held liable.

Husband and wife

i. Husband’s Liability for Wife’s Torts: Under the common law, during the earlier phase of development of tort, a wife couldn’t sue an individual for any tort unless and until her husband joined her as a party to plaintiff. Also, it had been impossible to sue a wife without making her husband as a party to defendant. These anomalies are by and by removed by the legislative acts, i.e. Married Women’s Property Act, 1882 and Law Reform (Married Women and Tortfeasers) Act, 1935. After these acts, it's become possible for a wife to sue or be sued without making her husband as a joint party to the suit. However, if the husband and wife are joint tortfeasors, they'll be made jointly liable per se. (Midland Bank Trust Co. Ltd. v. Green, 1979)[3]

ii. Action between the Husband and Wife: Earlier at common law, husband and wife couldn't sue each other for any tort committed against each other. However, this rule was abolished by the Law Reforms (Husband and Wife) Act, 1962. Consistent with the act, each of the parties to a marriage has the same right of action in tort against the other as if they weren't married. But the court had discretion to prevent them from using courts as a forum to settle trivial domestic disputes.

Under the Indian law, personal capacity between husband and wife to sue and be sued in torts is governed by their personal laws, be them Hindus, Sikhs, Jains or Muslims. Regarding Christians, various anomalies were removed by Married Women’s Property Act, 1874.

The Indian Constitution furthermore declare unconstitutional, all anomalies present in common law regarding the legal status and their personal capacity. Article 14 embodies a guarantee against arbitrariness and unreasonableness, considering the case of Ajay Hasia v. Khalid Murjib (1983)[4]


In the law, a tort may be a tort during which one person has breach a requirement owed to a different person, where the duty arose due to the mere existence of the domestic relationship. Simply torts are may be a civil wrongs related to a criminal wrong. It are often duly established that marriage doesn't affect the rights and liabilities of husband and wife in reference to any tort done by any of them by a third party.





Foot notes: [1] Emery v. Emery , 45 Cal.2d 421 [2] 161 U.S. 104 (1896) [3] (1981) 1, AC 513 [4] (1981 )AIR 487, 1981 SCR (2) 79