18c509s

§ 509.  Use of force by persons with special responsibility for care, discipline or safety of others.

The use of force upon or toward the person of another is justifiable if:

(1)  The actor is the parent or guardian or other person similarly responsible for the general care and supervision of a minor or a person acting at the request of such parent, guardian or other responsible person and:

(i)  the force is used for the purpose of safeguarding or promoting the welfare of the minor, including the preventing or punishment of his misconduct; and

(ii)  the force used is not designed to cause or known to create a substantial risk of causing death, serious bodily injury, disfigurement, extreme pain or mental distress or gross degradation.

(2)  The actor is a teacher or person otherwise entrusted with the care or supervision for a special purpose of a minor and:

(i)  the actor believes that the force used is necessary to further such special purpose, including the maintenance of reasonable discipline in a school, class or other group, and that the use of such force is consistent with the welfare of the minor; and

(ii)  the degree of force, if it had been used by the parent or guardian of the minor, would not be unjustifiable under paragraph (1)(ii).

(3)  The actor is the guardian or other person similarly responsible for the general care and supervision of an incapacitated, mentally ill or mentally retarded person; and:

(i)  the force is used for the purpose of safeguarding or promoting the welfare of the incapacitated, mentally ill or mentally retarded person, including the prevention of his misconduct, and there is no reasonable alternative to the use of such force; and

(ii)  the force used is not designed to cause or known to create a substantial risk of causing death, bodily injury, disfigurement, unnecessary pain, mental distress, or humiliation.

(4)  The actor is a doctor or other therapist or a person assisting him at his direction; and:

(i)  the force is used for the purpose of administering a recognized form of treatment not prohibited by law of this Commonwealth which the actor believes to be adapted to promoting the physical or mental health of the patient; and

(ii)  the treatment is administered with the consent of the patient, or, if the patient is a minor or an incapacitated person with the consent of his parent or guardian or other person legally competent to consent in his behalf, or the treatment is administered in an emergency when the actor believes that no one competent to consent can be consulted and that a reasonable person, wishing to safeguard the welfare of the patient, would consent.

(5)  The actor is a warden or other authorized official of a correctional institution; and:

(i)  he believes that the force used is necessary for the purpose of enforcing the lawful rules or procedures of the institution, unless his belief in the lawfulness of the rule or procedure sought to be enforced is erroneous and his error is due to ignorance or mistake as to the provisions of this title, any other provision of the criminal law or the law governing the administration of the institution;

(ii)  the nature or degree of force used is not forbidden by law; and

(iii)  if deadly force is used, its use is otherwise justifiable under this chapter.

(6)  The actor is a person responsible for the safety of a vessel or an aircraft or a person acting at his direction; and:

(i)  he believes that the force used is necessary to prevent interference with the operation of the vessel or aircraft or obstruction of the execution of a lawful order, unless his belief in the lawfulness of the order is erroneous and his error is due to ignorance or mistake as to the law defining his authority; and

(ii)  if deadly force is used, its use is otherwise justifiable under this chapter.

(7)  The actor is a person who is authorized or required by law to maintain order or decorum in a vehicle, train or other carrier or in a place where others are assembled; and:

(i)  he believes that the force used is necessary for such purpose; and

(ii)  the force used is not designed to cause death, or known to create a substantial risk of causing death, bodily injury, or extreme mental distress.

18c509v

(Oct. 21, 1988, P.L.1000, No.115, eff. imd.; Apr. 16, 1992, P.L.108, No.24, eff. 60 days)

 

Cross References.  Section 509 is referred to in section 8340.2 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).