If I was assaulted by the owner of a property I was on, can I file for assault?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If I was assaulted by the owner of a property I was on, can I file for assault?

I went over to my boyfriend’s house around 1 am. We were in the wrong for sneaking around and his dad whose known for being racist, came into the room and yelled at me to get out. I am a dark-skinned Dominican. As I was scrambling to get my stuff and clothes on he kept yelling at me to get out and I told him calmly that I’m just trying to get my things. He then grabbed my hair forcefully, spit on me while I was wearing nothing but a T-shirt and dragged me and pushed me. I was trying to leave the property when he told me to. I wanted to know if I can file for assault. It happened on his property so I’m not sure where the law lies here.

Asked on October 18, 2016 under Personal Injury, New Jersey


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Assault and battery are both criminal and civil (lawsuit) cases.
Assault is intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of an immediate battery without consent or legal privilege. 
Battery is the physical contact.  Battery is the intentional harmful or offensive touching of the person of another without consent or legal privilege.
As for the criminal case, it would be advisable to contact the district attorney's office.
The civil case (lawsuit) is separate from the criminal case.  Assault and battery are separate causes of action (claims) in your lawsuit against the father.

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