Negligence and the Robber’s Explicit Demands

A rough draft has been completed. You have the right to resist criminal demands Article, so I decided to serialize it here. Since there is still time to make changes, I would love to get your feedback and suggestions. Here you can find previous posts and any new posts.

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Let’s go back to Situation 3: Craig comes into Danielle’s shop demanding money. Danielle is concerned that Danielle will be hurt if she refuses to comply. Do you think Danielle is legally liable for refusing to comply? She has an affirmative duty as a business visitor to her store, so it would seem that she violates this duty.

Multiple courts have rejected this ruling, recognizing that “no obligation” is a valid rule. One of the most famous cases is Kentucky Fried Chicken of California, Inc.The California Supreme Court.

[A] shopkeeper does not have a duty to comply with the unlawful demand of an armed robber that property be surrendered…. Recognition of a duty to comply with an unlawful demand would be contrary to public policy as it would encourage similar unlawful conduct….

[T]The standard for a reasonable prudent person in the context is the standard of care [for property owners’ duty to protect their visitors]…. [But]In certain situations, a judicial decision or statute may establish a specific standard.

The court referenced several other appellate precedents in states where such decisions were made. Part of the reasoning was pragmatic.

[T]he public interest would not be served by recognition of a duty to comply with a robber’s demands…. [W]We aren’t convinced that armed robbery perpetrators would be aware or encouraged to comply with such a duty. We don’t have any evidence to support the conclusion that compliance prevents victims from being robbed. Public safety is greatly improved if would be robbers know their victims are not legally obligated to comply with their demands. They also have no obligation to turn over their property for protection against third-person injury.

The other part was rights-based

We agree with KFC that no duty to comply with a robber’s unlawful demands should be imposed …. Both article I, section 1 of the California Constitution and Civil Code section 50 recognize the right of any person to defend property with reasonable force…. Recognizing a duty to comply with an unlawful demand to surrender property would be inconsistent with the public policy reflected in article I, section 1 of the California Constitution and Civil Code section 50…. A simple refusal to comply does not violate any obligation to third parties present at the premises.[1]

However, three of seven Justices dissented and refused to believe that “a business owner is”. Never required to subordinate any of his own property interests—no matter how insignificant the object and no matter how slightly it is jeopardized—to his customers’ safety—no matter how many they are and no matter how gravely they are threatened.” “‘In­alien­able rights'” to defend property, the dissenters reasoned, “are not ipso facto absolute rights.”

A single appellate case, however unusual in my knowledge, seems to back the dissidents’ position. In Massie v. Godfather’s PizzaTwo robbers stole a pizza shop and threatened an employee with rape if the manager did not give the money. The manager refused, so they raped the employee. After she sued the shop, the court granted her the opportunity to continue the case. However, the court relied partly on the policy that the restaurant had of complying to robbers. [Godfather’s]own duty to public”, and didn’t confront more directly the arguments KFC would make the following, or that of the cases KFC Cited had been made previously.[2]

For your safety, Kentucky Fried Chicken This case has become controversial for two reasons. The majority’s dependence on property defense is troubling, given the fact that this case did not involve active resistance to a crime and the court explicitly declined to contemplate what might happen if it had. This case was a claim right to refuse to obey passively. [3] And, second, to quote one criticism,

KFC held, not only that the store’s property rights outweighed the lives of those in the store, but also that the property interest in the small amount of money in the cash register—perhaps $150—outweighed the lives of even a large number of customers.[4]

The court wasn’t saying people should value their own property more than others, but I think it was. Instead, the court was saying that in aggregate, the force of the law will be used to support robbers’ demands, increasing robberies and jeopardizing more lives. It also referred to the right of property defense. However, it did not support a right that protects property. It was referring to the dignity right to deny “complying with an illegal demand”, even if it is only for property.

This respect is important KFC This fits with my understanding of the “no-duty” rationale. Hurn v. Greenway. The law should not restrict Greenway’s freedom by imposing a “refrain from bullying or teasing someone who is known to be violent.” It would also be illegal for KFC to limit employees liberty by making it clear that they will not provoke robbers to incite someone who is known to be violent.[Such liability is]Particularly troubling is where the “provocation”, as in this case, is an act or resistance.

Greenway wasn’t at her home. She was resisting Evans’ implicit demand to end showing affection to a friend. This was driven by jealousy. KFC employees were at their workplace and refused to give money to the robber. The value of being allowed to dance and kiss with a friend is probably greater than $150 However, at the bottom of it, I believe that the KFC worker’s decision to refuse was not about money. Instead, it was about the refusal to follow criminal orders. Both cases should not be punished for such refusal.

[1]Another argument could be made against liability. It might be that KFC’s employee acted in extreme stress and should not have been secondguessed by judges or juries. Certain states have adopted this approach to emergency situations in general, often under the umbrella of the “sudden crisis” doctrine (also called the “imminent danger” doctrine).[A] person who … is suddenly and unexpectedly confronted with … imminent danger … is not expected nor required to use the same judgment and prudence that is required of him in the exercise of ordinary care in calmer and more deliberate moments.” Abdulkadhim v. Wu, 53 Cal. App. 5th 298, 301–02 (2020) (cleaned up). However, you can see Bedor v. Johnson, 2013 CO 4, ¶¶ 23–26 & n.2 (2013) (abolishing the doctrine, and citing other states that have done so). Perhaps “Detached reflection is not possible in the presence a raised knife,” to borrow from an alternative context of self-defense law. Brown v. United States. 256 U.S. 335, 343 (1921). However, this was not the court’s reasoning in KFCIt is possible to do so, and cases such as mine are a good example. McBrayer (The abortion clinic nuisance) suggests that the legal right to resist criminals’ demands must go beyond immediate responses to threats and be extended to situations in which defiance actually stems from reflection.

[2]Ask the judge if focusing only on the policies of the defendant is a good approach to duties questions, regardless of whether or not it would be appropriate in breach-of-duty and foreseeability.

[3]According to the court, it was not required to decide “if this right” [to reasonably defend property]Is qualified by the duty not to injure third persons” because it was pure refusal to obey and not active resistance.

[4] Dilan A. Esper & Gregory C. Keating, To abuse “Duty”., 79 S. Cal. L. Rev. 265, 321–22 (2006).