CACI 3063 Acts of Violence—Ralph Act—Essential Factual Elements (Civ. Code, § 51.7)

California Civil Jury Instructions CACI

3063 Acts of Violence—Ralph Act—Essential Factual Elements (Civ. Code, § 51.7)

[Name of plaintiff] claims that [name of defendant] committed an act of violence against [him/her/nonbinary pronoun] because of [his/her/nonbinary pronoun] [race/color/religion/ancestry/national origin/political affiliation/sex/sexual orientation/age/disability/citizenship/primary language/immigration status/position in a labor dispute/[insert other actionable characteristic]]. To establish this claim, [name of plaintiff] must prove all of the following:

1.That [name of defendant] committed a violent act against [name of plaintiff] [or [his/her/nonbinary pronoun] property];

2.That a substantial motivating reason for [name of defendant]’s conduct was [[his/her/nonbinary pronoun] perception of] [name of plaintiff]’s [race/color/religion/ancestry/national origin/political affiliation/sex/sexual orientation/age/disability/citizenship/primary language/immigration status/position in a labor dispute/[insert other actionable characteristic]];

3.That [name of plaintiff] was harmed; and

4.That [name of defendant]’s conduct was a substantial factor in causing [name of plaintiff]’s harm.

Derived from former CACI No. 3023 December 2009; Renumbered from CACI No. 3023A December 2012; Revised June 2013, December 2016

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Directions for Use

Use this instruction for a cause of action under the Ralph Act involving actual acts of violence alleged to have been committed by the defendant against the plaintiff. For an instruction involving only threats of violence, see CACI No. 3064, Threats of Violence—Ralph Act—Essential Factual Elements.

Note that element 2 uses the term “substantial motivating reason” to express both intent and causation between the protected classification and the defendant’s acts. “Substantial motivating reason” has been held to be the appropriate standard under the Fair Employment and Housing Act to address the possibility of both discriminatory and nondiscriminatory motives. (See Harris v. City of Santa Monica (2013) 56 Cal.4th 203, 232 [152 Cal.Rptr.3d 392, 294 P.3d 49]; CACI No. 2507, “Substantial Motivating Reason” Explained.) Whether the FEHA standard applies under the Ralph Act has not been addressed by the courts.

Liability may also be found if a defendant “aids, incites, or conspires” in the denial of a right protected under Civil Code section 51.7. (Civ. Code, § 52(b).) This instruction should be modified if aiding, inciting, or conspiring is asserted as theories of liability. See also instructions in the Conspiracy series (CACI No. 3600 et seq.).

Sources and Authority

Ralph Act. Civil Code section 51.7.

Protected Characteristics. Civil Code section 51(b).

Remedies Under Ralph Act. Civil Code section 52(b).

“The unambiguous language of this section gives rise to a cause of action in favor of a person against whom violence or intimidation has been committed or threatened.” (Coon v. Joseph (1987) 192 Cal.App.3d 1269, 1277 [237 Cal.Rptr. 873].)

“Under the Ralph Act, a plaintiff must establish the defendant threatened or committed violent acts against the plaintiff or their property, and a motivating reason for doing so was a prohibited discriminatory motive, or that [defendant] aided, incited, or conspired in the denial of a protected right.” (Gabrielle A. v. County of Orange (2017) 10 Cal.App.5th 1268, 1291 [217 Cal.Rptr.3d 275].)

“Nor do we agree with defendants that ‘because of’ logically means ‘hatred.’ Section 51.7 provides that all persons ‘have the right to be free from any violence, or intimidation by threat of violence, committed against their persons or property because of …’ specified characteristics, including sex, and provides for a civil remedy for violation of that right. Nothing in the statute requires that a plaintiff prove that the offending act was motivated by hate.” (Ventura v. ABM Industries Inc. (2012) 212 Cal.App.4th 258, 269 [150 Cal.Rptr.3d 861].)

“Section 51 by its express language applies only within California. It cannot (with its companion penalty provisions in § 52) be extended into the Hawaiian jurisdiction. A state cannot regulate or proscribe activities conducted in another state or supervise the internal affairs of another state in any way, even though the welfare or health of its citizens may be affected when they travel to that state.” (Archibald v. Cinerama Hawaiian Hotels, Inc. (1977) 73 Cal.App.3d 152, 159 [140 Cal.Rptr. 599], internal citations omitted, disapproved on other grounds in Koire v. Metro Car Wash (1985) 40 Cal.3d 24 [219 Cal.Rptr. 133, 707 P.2d 195].)

Secondary Sources

8 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Constitutional Law, § 989 et seq.
Gaab & Reese, California Practice Guide: Civil Procedure Before Trial Claims and Defenses, Ch. 14(IV)-B, Ralph Civil Rights Act of 1976—Elements, ¶ 14:940 (The Rutter Group)
Cheng et al., Cal. Fair Housing and Public Accommodations § 914:2, 14:39 (The Rutter Group)
11 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 116, Civil Rights: Discrimination in Business Establishments, § 116.80 (Matthew Bender)
California Civil Practice: Civil Rights Litigation, §§ 3:1–3:15 (Thomson Reuters)