False Arrest

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False Arrest

A tort (a civil wrong) that consists of an unlawful restraint of an individual's personal liberty or freedom of movement by another purporting to act according to the law.

The term false arrest is sometimes used interchangeably with that of the tort of False Imprisonment, and a false arrest is one method of committing a false imprisonment. A false arrest must be perpetrated by one who asserts that he or she is acting pursuant to legal authority, whereas a false imprisonment is any unlawful confinement. For example, if a sheriff arrests a person without any Probable Cause or reasonable basis, the sheriff has committed the torts of false arrest and false imprisonment. The sheriff has acted under the assumption of legal authority to deprive a person unlawfully of his or her liberty of movement. If, however, a driver refuses to allow a passenger to depart from a vehicle, the driver has committed the tort of false imprisonment because he or she unlawfully restrains freedom of movement. The driver has not committed false arrest, however, since he or she is not claiming to act under legal authority. A person who knowingly gives police false information in order to have someone arrested has committed the tort of Malicious Prosecution.

An action can be instituted for the damages ensuing from false arrest, such as loss of salary while imprisoned, or injury to reputation that results in a pecuniary loss to the victim. Ill will and malice are not elements of the tort, but if these factors are proven, Punitive Damages can be awarded in addition to Compensatory Damages or nominal damages.

false arrest

n. physically detaining someone without the legal right to do so. Quite often this involves private security people, or other owners or employees of retail establishments who hold someone without having seen a crime commited in their presence or pretend that they are police officers. While they may be entitled to make a "citizen's arrest" they had better be sure that they have a person who has committed a crime, and they must call law enforcement officers to take over at the first opportunity. Other common false arrest situations include an arrest by a police officer of the wrong person or without probable cause to believe a crime has been committed and/or without a warrant. Only when the arresting party knowingly holds someone who has not committed a crime, is the false arrest itself a crime. However, probable false arrest can be the basis of a lawsuit for damages, including mental distress and embarrassment. (See: false imprisonment)

References in periodicals archive ?
The High Courts, in many cases of illegal and unlawful arrest and detention by police, have invoked writ jurisdiction to grant relief to the victims of illegal or unlawful detention in shape of compensation.
Gill sued West Midland Police for unlawful arrest, assault and malicious prosecution.
After first vowing to sue the New York Police Department for unlawful arrest and sexual harassment, the former Nickelodeon star is now also suing the owners of her luxury apartment block.
Mr Fluck, now living in Valley Road, Blakenall, Walsall, is claiming damages against the chief constable of the West Midlands for unlawful arrest, assault, and false imprisonment.
The Marcos regime was marred by human rights abuses, curtailed press freedom, corruption, forced disappearances, and unlawful arrest and killings of opposition forces.
In the past two years alone there have been 1,036 allegations of unlawful arrest.
It details how Rebian Solicitors are acting on their behalf in a civil action claiming unlawful arrest, false imprisonment and trespass to property and goods arising out of their arrest last August.
A solicitor for Mr Storey, who was freed unconditionally without charge, said no direct evidence was put to him during his detention and indicated his intention to sue for unlawful arrest.
Mr Fluck is also seeking damages for unlawful arrest and assault.
Carl Josephs, aged 27, made British legal history when he sued West Midlands police for racial harassment, unlawful arrest and false imprisonment.
Andanar made the disclosure to reporters on the sidelines of the Senate plenary debates, as he talked about the extent of the country's drug problem and why the President had aired the possibility of suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, or legal protection from unlawful arrest.
The two are facing a complaint for violation of Article 269 of the Revised Penal Code or Unlawful Arrest.