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24 February 2006

Is it a threat, in legal terms, to say,[More:]

"I'd sure hate to see your nose broken."

Probably could be, in the right context.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 24 February | 16:23
TPS, I'd hate to see your nose broken. It's so cute!
posted by Eideteker 24 February | 16:24
Hell, these days, you would be charged with assault for that.
posted by King of Prontopia 24 February | 16:28
Yeah, I've wondered about phrasing things vaguely or hypothetically in order to avoid actual threats, then I realized it's a good idea to stay clear of that whole territory.
posted by puke & cry 24 February | 16:28
Stick 'em up!
posted by flopsy 24 February | 16:29
Just put "I don't believe..." in front of your sentence. Hey, it works for big tobacco and Enron.
posted by AlexReynolds 24 February | 16:32
Fuuuck you, Eideteker! ::punches Eideteker in the face, breaks his nose::

posted by ThePinkSuperhero 24 February | 16:33
What if you had a tape recorder with you, and when someone said in court, "He threatened me," you could show the court a transcript and give them a tape.

This is a purely hypothetical question I've been discussing with my colleagues, by the way.

I guess it boils down to a question of tone. I don't mean "do people feel threatened by tone," of course they do, that's the whole point. I mean can tone of voice be accepted as evidence in court?
posted by Hugh Janus 24 February | 16:36
≡ Click to see image ≡
"Poland is a great ally to the United States...
but the President would hate to see that country's nose broken."
posted by Smart Dalek 24 February | 16:37

And they keep telling me motorcycling is dangerous. They've obviously never met a woman.


"Eideteker forced to resign as the President of the Metachat Book Club..."
posted by Eideteker 24 February | 16:39
"Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."
≡ Click to see image ≡
posted by mcgraw 24 February | 16:53
I believe that it'd be a shame for your nose to be broken.
posted by porpoise 24 February | 16:59
Is it a threat in legal terms to give someone a suitcase full of tampons and then when they ask why the fuck you did that for you say for the holes motherfucker and then shoot them like 120 times with a Mac-10?

'Cause if so, Quiero hablar con me abogado.
posted by Divine_Wino 24 February | 17:02
Do you mean, if someone said "I'd sure hate to see your nose broken" you'd be within your legal rights to clobber them, in self-defence?

Generally I don't think threats are taken very seriously unless they involve some kind of physical contact. If it was said accompanied by a shove then maybe that'd count for something. If it was said and then used to justify self-defence then I guess that would depend on the state of mind of the people involved - or in other words, what else happened before and after the threat. Still pretty tenuous I'd say.

But what the hell do I know
posted by dodgygeezer 24 February | 17:06
I once got in trouble for "threatening" someone on a temp job because I said, "I'm going to get out of here before I hurt you."

I thought I was being mature by walking away from the situation, and I didn't necessarily mean physically. I'm still mad about it.
posted by jrossi4r 24 February | 17:32
* backs away from jrossi *
posted by dodgygeezer 24 February | 17:35
You have nothing to worry about, dodgy. Just don't go on a rant about how you throw out your designer duds instead of donating them because the people at the Goodwill had the audacity to suggest that you remove them from the trunk yourself and respond to my objections with, "Please, my father could buy and sell you!"
posted by jrossi4r 24 February | 18:56
Clearly, jrossi, you were being incredibly threatening. What you should have said is:

"Please. My father could buy and sell your father. If your father was, like, on sale at Target. And, speaking of targets... it would be a shame if your father got his nose broken."
posted by taz 24 February | 23:41
It all comes down to a "reasonable person" test. If you can turn and walk away from it, it's not much of a threat. If you've got no way to get away, it becomes more realistic.

But it's not a cut and dried thing. In a criminal matter (like assault or harassment) you have to convince twelve people beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil matter, you have to convince then that it's more than 50% likely (preponderance of evidence.)

But the general rules of thumb are things like "is it realistic" or "can you get away?" Fer example, threatening someone that you will zap them with a disintegrator ray isn't realistic.

I've got a case now where a guy was framed by a bunch of people who lied their asses off about being afraid. If their claims were true about this guy, they have all been hacked into small bits and fed to wild dogs years ago and wouldn't be around to give false testimony now. It fails the reasonableness test.
posted by warbaby 25 February | 03:51
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posted by Smart Dalek 25 February | 08:14
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