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Questions about Coercion Law

When an individual is forced to act in a certain manner against his or her will by another person through use of various means of pressure, it is called coercion. Coercion may also involve the victim being inflicted with physical pain or injury or even psychological harm to do the bidding of the one so coercing. Many times people are talked into doing things that they normally wouldn’t do, and often wonder if it is a form of coercion and often have questions relating to coercion law. Listed below are some of the frequently asked questions relating to coercion that have been answered by the Experts.

How can coercion be proved and what evidence is needed to prove that a person was made to change his/her will?

Coercion can said to have taken place if it can be shown that the party coerced was asked to do or sign something against their own free will, and that the party forcing the issue had an undue advantage over the former. The party initiating the lawsuit trying to prove that coercion indeed took place has a Burden of Proof to bear and bring to court. Normally this is extremely difficult to prove and if the witnesses to the will testify that the testator was not under duress, the lawsuit may be lost.

If a person is forced to sign a contract by his lawyer to pursue a lawsuit even though the lawyer is aware of the enormous stress the person is going through due to injuries resulting from an accident, would this be a form of coercion>

It must be proved that the individual was made to sign the contract under duress. The individual can pursue the case in court if the lawyer does not agree to cancel the contract.

Where may a coercion lawsuit be filed if there are three parcels of real estate located in three different states and where the plaintiff resides in one, and the defendant resides in another?

If coercion has taken place, it would be filed in the plaintiff's state of residence. The plaintiff may file the lawsuit in his or her own state of residence and also the defendant’s state of residence. This would thereby cover all three parcels of real estate thus rendering unnecessary the need to file multiple lawsuits.

In Indiana , if a married couple is in an “alternative lifestyle” relationship, can the wife enter into a Post Nuptial Agreement which would absolve her of any possible consequences of unfaithfulness while the husband agrees to hold her blameless in their own relationship without being coerced?

In the state of Indiana, the Post Nuptial Agreement must have clauses stating the obvious which are agreed to both by the husband and wife. The agreement will be valid if the husband is willing to the terms without being forced or coerced into doing so.

Does a person have the right to ask for a gift to be returned by the person who received the gift?

No law exists which allows for the person who gives a gift to demand it be returned. There are laws which cover coercion in obtaining a gift. But for instance, in a real estate agreement, once a transfer of property has taken place legally, it amounts to transfer of ownership as well unless it can be proved that the real estate was obtained by using fraudulent or coercive methods.

Can an adult male be allowed to kiss or touch a female minor aged 15 in the state of Florida? Would such behavior be termed as sexual battery or lewd behavior?

The law in Florida and other states is very detailed as to what is construed as sexual battery or lewd behavior. There are a number of clauses which state what cannot be done in such a relationship where one of the parties is below the age of 16. Kissing and touching could be allowed under normal circumstances, but it is advisable to wait till the girl turns 16 before taking the relationship to a further level as this could be construed as coercive behavior on the part of the adult male.

It does become difficult at times to ascertain as to what exactly the law states with regards to coercion and how this can be proved in a particular case. When in doubt, it is always best to get Legal Experts to evaluate the particulars of your case and provide you with legal insights on the subject of coercion.
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