MANTRA: & Specific Conduct: describe the D’s conduct to be evaluated
I. PRIMA FACIE CASE
False imprisonment involves conduct which is intended to, and does in fact, confine another within boundaries fixed by the actor, where, in addition, the victim is either conscious of the confinement or is harmed by it. McCann v. Wal-Mart
Intentionally restraining another person without having the legal right to do so. It’s not necessary that physical force be used; threats or a show of apparent authority are sufficient. False imprisonment is a misdemeanor and a tort (a civil wrong). If the perpetrator confines the victim for a substantial period of time (or moves him a significant distance) in order to commit a felony, the false imprisonment may become a kidnapping. People who are arrested and get the charges dropped, or are later acquitted, often think that they can sue the arresting officer for false imprisonment (also known as false arrest). These lawsuits rarely succeed: As long as the officer had probable cause to arrest the person, the officer will not be liable for a false arrest, even if it turns out later that the information the officer relied upon was incorrect.
Elements – False Imprisonment
The elements of the tort are:
Intent to confine another person against their will. In Australia, this element will be fulfilled if the imprisonment is negligently occasioned. In the United States, the possibility of false imprisonment arises if the imprisonment causes bodily harm or if the alleged victim is aware of the confinement as it happens.
An act pursuant to this intent.
The resulting confinement of another person against his or her will.
Absence of a reasonable means of escape. A means of escape will not be reasonable if it endangers personal safety, such as leaping from the window of a tall building.
In some jurisdictions, awareness of the confinement by the person so confined. In both England and Australia, consciousness of imprisonment is not an element of the tort.
Absence of legal authority on the part of the person acting to confine another
A Intent to confine (Purposeful, substantial certain or transferred);
1 by acts
2 by words which P fears to disregard
a e.g. false assertion of legal authority
1 by other circumstances (showing duress)
a e.g. (Explicit or implicit) threats of physical force
1 Determine whether a reasonable person would know that their actions would result in someone feeling confined.
onable person to exclaim “Outrageous!” in response.
Some general factors that will persuade that the conduct was extreme and outrageous: (1) there was a pattern of conduct, not just an isolated incident; (2) the plaintiff was vulnerable and the defendant knew it; (3) the defendant was in a position of power; (4) racial epithets were used; and (5) the defendant owed the plaintiff a fiduciary duty. Taylor v. Metzger, 706 A.2d 685 (N.J. 1998);GTE Southwest, Inc. v. Bruce, 998 S.W.2d 605 (Tex. 1999);
The actions of the defendant must have actually caused the plaintiff’s emotional distress. GTE Southwest, Inc. v. Bruce, 998 S.W.2d 605 (Tex. 1999).
 Plaintiff must actually suffer emotional distress
The emotional distress suffered by the plaintiffs must be “severe.” This standard is quantified by the intensity, duration, and any physical manifestations of the distress. A lack of productivity or depression documented by professional psychiatrists is typically required here, although acquaintances’ testimony about a change in behavior could be persuasive.