False Imprisonment


Being detained against your will can be a traumatic and terrifying experience. The act of unlawfully detaining someone against their will is known as false imprisonment. False imprisonment is a violation of a person’s most fundamental civil rights. It is a serious civil wrong or “tort.” If someone unlawfully detains you against your will, it can give rise to a claim for damages under the law. Ripper Law Firm has the experience and skills necessary to help victims of false imprisonment.

Not only can false imprisonment result in physical injury, it can result in extreme trauma, humiliation, degradation and anxiety. It can injury you from a physical, emotional and psychological standpoint. The experience and effects of a false imprisonment can linger for a long time. When you are the victim of a false imprisonment you are entitled to seek money damages for your injuries and the violation of your legal rights.

People often confuse the concept of false imprisonment with false arrest. False imprisonment and false arrest are different things. Differentiating between these separate and distinct claims can be difficult and confusing. They involve different legal elements and burdens of proof. Even competent attorneys sometimes confuse these claims.

A false arrest involves the unlawful detention of a person in connection with an alleged crime pursuant to an arrest warrant or through the use of arrest powers. False imprisonment is the unlawful detention or restraint of a person, for any length of time, where they are deprived of their personal liberty. False imprisonment does not require the involvement of an arrest warrant or arrest powers, it merely involves unlawful restraint. Similarly, someone who experiences false imprisonment does not have to prove that the perpetrator acted with malice or wicked intent.

Significant false imprisonment cases generally involve some type of impermissible physical force, such as assault and battery. For example, if a woman is grabbed by a male co-worker and forced into an area of an office in which they work while he gropes her body and forcibly tries to kiss her, that would constitute false imprisonment. Although false imprisonment often involves impermissible physical contact, physical force is not a requirement to a valid false imprisonment claim. Verbal threats that force someone into compliance or remaining in an area against their will can constitute false imprisonment even if there is no forcible physical contact.

Ripper Law Firm handles false imprisonment claims in a number of different situations, including:

  • Unlawful detention or restraint by security personnel or loss prevention staff at retail establishments, big-box stores, department stores, shopping malls and movie theaters
  • Unlawful detention or restraint by private security personnel, police officers, sheriff’s deputies and other law enforcement personnel
  • Unlawful detention or restraint by nursing homes, nursing home staff, hospitals and medical facilities
  • Unlawful detention or restraint by psychiatric facilities, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals

Many cases of false imprisonment occur in retail stores when people are suspected of shoplifting. This happens when managers or security guards overstep their bounds and their right to briefly detain suspected shoplifters. Store managers and security personnel have the right to conduct reasonable investigations to determine whether there is a legitimate basis to involve law enforcement where they reasonably suspect a person of shoplifting. However, a manager or security guard cannot lock you in a room, they cannot physically manhandle you, and they cannot physically force you to do anything.

If your legal rights have been violated, you are entitled to compensation for:

  • Emotional and psychological trauma, pain and suffering
  • Physical injury, pain and suffering
  • Humiliation, degradation and anxiety
  • Damage to your reputation and good name
  • Punitive damages to punish irresponsible and reckless conduct

There are strict time limitations within which you must act to preserve your legal claims. False imprisonment cases have short deadlines, so you should not delay consulting with legal counsel. There is another reason you should not delay speaking with an experienced false imprisonment lawyer. In order to position your case for the best result, it is important that relevant evidence is secured in the hours and days immediately following the incident. This includes video surveillance footage, audio tape, photographs, witness statements and other evidence showing what happened. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for critical evidence to conveniently go “missing” after incidents of false imprisonment. That is why it is important to act quickly and contact an experienced false imprisonment lawyer. Once we’re aware of your claim, we can take immediate action to protect and preserve evidence which could be vital to proving your case in a court of law.

If you have been held against your will unlawfully, you should speak with an experienced false imprisonment lawyer. Ripper Law Firm will help you understand the legal process, and we will protect your legal rights. We are here to ensure that you receive all the protection the law provides and all the compensation you deserve.