Is there a legal area of personal space ? If so can you legally push them out of this space?
Or would that be considered assault?
It's hard to answer a hypothetical. Is there a fact situation involved here that you could describe for me?
Where do you live?
Have there been any criminal charges for assault laid?
Does this involve spouses?
Yes the situation is this, I am a Transit employee working for SkyTrain in Vancouver B.C.On AuG 03/09 I had an event that involved a well known panhandler/ transfer/seller who the night before was given a 24 hr suspension from the transit system. I spotted him trying to access the elevator at street level and placed myself between the elevator door and him and refused him service due to the fact that the 24 hr. suspension was still in affect.He showed me his pass and said it was his right and he was going on and for me to go back to where I came from( I am non white and have had many racial slurs from this individual as well as death threats or threats of violence over the years I just let it go part of to job ect.) he started towards me I felt his foot meet mine as my back was to the door I had no way of knowing weher the door was open or not. I reacted by extending my arms and stopping his forward progress, I did not hurt him physically in anyway. He jumped back says he is charging me and takes off. Yesterday our Transit police informed me that indeed he did lodge a complaint and they are compelled to investigate, they want to get together to get my statement, The event will by captured on CCTV with no audio.
If this were a criminal matter, then he would have assaulted you because he perpetrated unwanted contact upon you.
There is no "personal space" criminal law, but if someone is getting in your face and you feel threatened, then that's a different charge.
The racial slurs are irrelevant, I'm afraid. It will gain you sympathy from investigators, and give you a possible defense of provocation should a civil suit be launched, but I really can't see that happening here anyway. Clearly the other fella suffered no damages.
If he wants to sue for discrimination or abuse of authority, then it would be against your employer moreso than you personally, since as far as you knew you were carrying out your employers policies and may well have been doing so in fact.
Now, the transit police are different from normal police, and since you probably belong to a union I'll refrain from commenting further on your personal liability while carrying out your employment duties. Your union has the sole right and obligation to represent you in those matters, so it doesn't really matter what I think while sitting here at my kitchen table.
So, to answer your question, there's no defined "personal space" in law the breach of which creates liability. But instigating an unwanted touching is an assault by strict definition. Having said that, the fact that you were at work at the time complicates things severely. Be co-operative with your employer, and if you have any serious concerns, consult your union steward if you have one.
I hope this answers your question, Trab.
please accept this answer so that I may receive credit for the time and attention I've put into your matter.
11 years experience in Canada family law, plus criminal, civil, and employment