Castle Doc. (Texas)

Castle Doc. (Texas)

This is a discussion on Castle Doc. (Texas) within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Good afternoon everyone, I hope this isn't a silly question, but I had a question regarding the Texas Castle Doctrine law. Do we have (if ...

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Thread: Castle Doc. (Texas)

  1. #1
    Member Array hakuthedog's Avatar
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    Castle Doc. (Texas)

    Good afternoon everyone,

    I hope this isn't a silly question, but I had a question regarding the Texas Castle Doctrine law. Do we have (if justified of couse) civil immunity if we are not in the home/vechile (i.e. "castle)? For example, if we were out and about, and a BG tries to mug you and you shoot him and caused death/injury (God forbid anyone has to), would you have civil immunity pertaining to you even if you're not in the "castle"?

    I hope this wasn't answered already, and if it was, please excuse my ignorance.

    Thanks everyone

    Reference:
    Site: http://www.rc123.com/texas_castle_doctrine.html

    SECTION 4. Section 83.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, is amended to read as follows:

    Sec. 83.001. CIVIL IMMUNITY [AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE]. A [It is an affirmative defense to a civil action for damages for personal injury or death that the] defendant who uses force or[, at the time the cause of action arose, was justified in using] deadly force that is justified under Chapter 9 [Section 9.32], Penal Code, is immune from civil liability for personal injury or death that results from the defendant’s [against a person who at the time of the] use of force or deadly force, as applicable [was committing an offense of unlawful entry in the habitation of the defendant].

    SECTION 5. (a) Sections 9.31 and 9.32, Penal Code, as amended by this Act, apply only to an offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act. An offense committed before the effective date of this Act is covered by the law in effect when the offense was committed, and the former law is continued in effect for this purpose. For the purposes of this subsection, an offense is committed before the effective date of this Act if any element of the offense occurs before the effective date.

    (b) Section 83.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, as amended by this Act, applies only to a cause of action that accrues on or after the effective date of this Act. An action that accrued before the effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect at the time the action accrued, and that law is continued in effect for that purpose.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    What you're describing has nothing to do with Castle Doctrine. Castle Doctrine - generally - means that if someone breaks into your home (which in Oklahoma even extends to a tent. Yay Oklahoma!) they are fair game, weapon, no weapon, whatever.

    When you're just out and about you generally have to be able to prove justifiable fear of imminent death or grievous injury to yourself, and in some cases to other parties.
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    Being that this is the United States, someone can always file a civil law suit. If you shoot someone in Texas and you were within the penal code for justifiable use of force/deadly force then while someone may try and sue they probably wouldn't win. It's probable that a judge would through it out.

    If my or my families lifes are in danger I'm not worried about a law suit. I'll take that over death any day. And in Texas it probably isn't even an issue anyway as long as you were justified, ie defending you life

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    Member Array hakuthedog's Avatar
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    ^Thanks for the input you all!

    paaiyan - Wow, OK extends to a tent? That's actually pretty neat (considering muggers probably would target campers and such).

    cliffy - I agree with you 100%. I would rather deal with a law suit over being dead (or a loved one) any day of the week. I was just somewhat curious if that civil immunity would cover you/us if SHTF and we do need to fire.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    From the Oklahoma "Stand Your Ground" law:

    B. A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:

    1. The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against the will of that person from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and
    J. As used in this section:

    1. "Dwelling" means a building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, whether the building or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it, including a tent, and is designed to be occupied by people;

    God Bless Oklahoma
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    Member Array cmurphy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paaiyan View Post
    What you're describing has nothing to do with Castle Doctrine. Castle Doctrine - generally - means that if someone breaks into your home (which in Oklahoma even extends to a tent. Yay Oklahoma!) they are fair game, weapon, no weapon, whatever.

    When you're just out and about you generally have to be able to prove justifiable fear of imminent death or grievous injury to yourself, and in some cases to other parties.

    Here in MS, we have some civil protections in the same code section as our Castle Doctrine law:

    (3) A person who uses defensive force shall be presumed to have reasonably feared imminent death or great bodily harm, or the commission of a felony upon him or another or upon his dwelling, or against a vehicle which he was occupying, or against his business or place of employment or the immediate premises of such business or place of employment, if the person against whom the defensive force was used, was in the process of unlawfully and forcibly entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, occupied vehicle, business, place of employment or the immediate premises thereof or if that person had unlawfully removed or was attempting to unlawfully remove another against the other person's will from that dwelling, occupied vehicle, business, place of employment or the immediate premises thereof and the person who used defensive force knew or had reason to believe that the forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred. This presumption shall not apply if the person against whom defensive force was used has a right to be in or is a lawful resident or owner of the dwelling, vehicle, business, place of employment or the immediate premises thereof or is the lawful resident or owner of the dwelling, vehicle, business, place of employment or the immediate premises thereof or if the person who uses defensive force is engaged in unlawful activity or if the person is a law enforcement officer engaged in the performance of his official duties;





    (4) A person who is not the initial aggressor and is not engaged in unlawful activity shall have no duty to retreat before using deadly force under subsection (1) (e) or (f) of this section if the person is in a place where the person has a right to be, and no finder of fact shall be permitted to consider the person's failure to retreat as evidence that the person's use of force was unnecessary, excessive or unreasonable.





    (5) (a) The presumptions contained in subsection (3) of this section shall apply in civil cases in which self-defense or defense of another is claimed as a defense.





    (b) The court shall award reasonable attorney's fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant acted in accordance with subsection (1) (e) or (f) of this section. A defendant who has previously been adjudicated "not guilty" of any crime by reason of subsection (1) (e) or (f) of this section shall be immune from any civil action for damages arising from same conduct.


    Thank you State Sen Charlie Ross!

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    hakuthedog......first....welcome to the forum

    next, good question

    I'd like to clarify something first........people usually lump the Castle law phrase with the right to use deadly force and think that Texas did something huge during the legislative session in 2007 (which was of course hyped up by the media). Texas has always had laws allowing for one to defend yourself when faced with a deadly threat, its just that the laws were clarified in 2007.
    This law in the penal code is in effect no matter where you are at the moment. If you are legally allowed to be there, are threatened with deadly force/reasonably believe you are about to have deadly force used against you then you can use deadly force to defend yourself...period....and don't have to retreat.

    Now for the civil immunity....you already posted the pertinent section from the civil code. That is your answer, if you were legally justified and used deadly force on someone then you cannot be held liable for their injury/death. This does not however prevent you from being held liable if you cause injury/death to a 3rd person when you shoot.
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    Member Array hakuthedog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 64zebra View Post
    hakuthedog......first....welcome to the forum
    .......
    Now for the civil immunity....you already posted the pertinent section from the civil code. That is your answer, if you were legally justified and used deadly force on someone then you cannot be held liable for their injury/death. This does not however prevent you from being held liable if you cause injury/death to a 3rd person when you shoot.

    Thank you for the welcome and the answer!

    I was concerned the family of the BG would "come after you" legally and try to sue for no reason. As a given, I would rather defend myself legally rather than be dead (if my use of force is justified; of course).

    Good to know

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    Quote Originally Posted by hakuthedog View Post
    Thank you for the welcome and the answer!

    I was concerned the family of the BG would "come after you" legally and try to sue for no reason. As a given, I would rather defend myself legally rather than be dead (if my use of force is justified; of course).

    Good to know
    My understanding is that the family can sue you regardless and you will still need legal defense---even if the suit has no merit.

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    TX castle doctrine also extends to your vehicle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 98LSWON View Post
    TX castle doctrine also extends to your vehicle.
    TX "castle doctrine" extends everywhere, if you have the legal right to be where you are at, then you can use deadly force, there is no duty to retreat from anywhere
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    Senior Member Array cwblanco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 64zebra View Post
    . . . . people usually lump the Castle law phrase with the right to use deadly force and think that Texas did something huge during the legislative session in 2007 (which was of course hyped up by the media). Texas has always had laws allowing for one to defend yourself when faced with a deadly threat, its just that the laws were clarified in 2007.

    This law in the penal code is in effect no matter where you are at the moment. If you are legally allowed to be there, are threatened with deadly force/reasonably believe you are about to have deadly force used against you then you can use deadly force to defend yourself...period....and don't have to retreat.
    Agreed. The effect of the castle doctrine had little change on Texas common law construction of self-defense, except that the question of a "duty to retreat" was clarified -- to clearly eliminate such a requirement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paaiyan View Post
    From the Oklahoma "Stand Your Ground" law:


    Quote:
    'B. A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:

    1. The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against the will of that person from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and'



    God Bless Oklahoma
    I always knew this as it applied to someone entering your "dwelling" while you were in it. I understand how it applies in that sense, but:
    Does this also apply to when you are not currently in the dwelling?
    For example, I guess that would include walking up to someone in your car stealing crap or walking up to your home and someone is in your house with obvious signs of forced entry.

    I am definitely not saying that I would just fire into someone doing this. Nor would I go into my house to clear it, unless anyone I know is still in there with the bad guy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 64zebra View Post
    hakuthedog......first....welcome to the forum

    next, good question

    I'd like to clarify something first........people usually lump the Castle law phrase with the right to use deadly force and think that Texas did something huge during the legislative session in 2007 (which was of course hyped up by the media). Texas has always had laws allowing for one to defend yourself when faced with a deadly threat, its just that the laws were clarified in 2007.
    This law in the penal code is in effect no matter where you are at the moment. If you are legally allowed to be there, are threatened with deadly force/reasonably believe you are about to have deadly force used against you then you can use deadly force to defend yourself...period....and don't have to retreat.

    Now for the civil immunity....you already posted the pertinent section from the civil code. That is your answer, if you were legally justified and used deadly force on someone then you cannot be held liable for their injury/death. This does not however prevent you from being held liable if you cause injury/death to a 3rd person when you shoot.

    ^^^^^zebra64 is correct^^^^


    Quote Originally Posted by hakuthedog View Post
    Thank you for the welcome and the answer!

    I was concerned the family of the BG would "come after you" legally and try to sue for no reason. As a given, I would rather defend myself legally rather than be dead (if my use of force is justified; of course).

    Good to know
    ^^^^^You had the answer to your question in your OP, but that would not stop them from "Getting even with you'

    Quote Originally Posted by jedwil View Post
    My understanding is that the family can sue you regardless and you will still need legal defense---even if the suit has no merit.

    That would suck if true.

    In Michigan, if they bring civil suit against you,and lost they would pay all court costs AND your Legal Fees, and( they would be ignorant to do so IF you were given a no bill from the DA.
    I doubt a Lawyer in Michigan would take the case for the family of the thug who you justifiably shot or killed while protecting your family

    Here is the Michigan code regarding this;
    In bold it shows they will be responsible for legal fees and whatnot

    Civil Liability
    A person who uses force in accordance with the Act is immune from civil liability for damages caused by the use of such force (PA 314). Additionally, courts must award attorney fees and costs to an individual who has been sued for using force and the court finds that the force was in accordance with the Act (PA 312).
    Criminal Liability
    Under the Act (PA 310), no crime has been committed when a person uses force as authorized. If a prosecutor believes that the force is not justified, he or she must provide evidence that the force used was not in accordance with the Act. Such evidence must be presented at the time of warrant issuance, preliminary examination, and trial.

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