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False Imprisonment and False Arrest

In New York, a private person or a police officer commits the tort of false imprisonment or false arrest when they detain someone without legal authority. The New York tort litigation attorneys at Tilem & Associates will aggressively prosecute or defend your false imprisonment or false arrest actions. Our New York tort litigation lawyers will use the only the most effective strategies to successfully argue your case.

The Tough New York Tort Litigation Attorneys at Tilem & Associates are Ready to Prosecute or Defend Your False Imprisonment and False Arrest Claims Today. Call Now for a Free Consultation. 888-377-8666

False imprisonment and false arrest are similar torts. The main difference between the two is that false arrest requires an arrest, but, false imprisonment only requires unlawful detention. A defendant commits false imprisonment when they unlawfully detain another person, against that other person’s will, and the detention is done without legal process. On the other hand, a defendant commits the tort of false arrest when they unlawfully arrest another person.

In a false imprisonment or false arrest action, the plaintiff needs to prove the following elements:

(1) the defendant intends to detain them;

(2) the plaintiff was aware of the detention;

(3) the plaintiff did not agree to be detained; and

(4) the detention was not legally justified.

In false arrest actions, where a civilian detains a plaintiff, the plaintiff also needs to prove:

(5) the defendant had an active part in arresting the plaintiff.

On the other hand, the plaintiff does not need to prove negligence, malice, or a lack of probable cause to establish false imprisonment. The defendant’s intent is not relevant to proving false imprisonment or false arrest. Noble intent is not a defense to false imprisonment and false arrest. On the other hand, a defendant’s malicious intent will not make a lawful arrest into a false arrest. But, motive and intent are relevant to the issue of punitive damages in a false imprisonment or false arrest claim. When a defendant commits the tort of false imprisonment willfully or maliciously, the damages from the claim may not be discharged in bankruptcy.

The most important element of a false imprisonment claim is detention. To prove detention the plaintiff needs to show two things. First, the plaintiff needs to prove the defendant caused, authorized, directed, or instigated the plaintiff’s detention. Second, the plaintiff needs to prove that they were detained. Although this seems simple enough, sometimes plaintiffs cannot prove they were detained. Courts found that plaintiffs were not detained when they voluntarily went to the police station to for questioning, and when they voluntarily went with a police officer for a ride-along to see a fight. Courts also agree that being ticketed for traffic or parking violations does not establish the element of detention.

Liability for false imprisonment and false arrest claims can be extremely costly to defendants, particularly if the defendant is a police officer and their local municipality does not assume responsibility for the officer’s conduct. Municipalities often argue that a police officer’s actions were done outside of the scope of their duty and therefore the municipality should not be responsible for the damages. If a municipality can show they are not responsible for damages, a police officer can be personally liable and the municipality does not need to bear the cost of the officer’s legal defense. Homeowner’s insurance generally does not cover legal expenses for intentional torts like false arrest. If a jury sustains a verdict against an officer, the officer may also need to pay damages directly from their assets, savings, and potentially from their future wages.

False arrest and false imprisonment claims are profoundly serious and can have life altering consequences for plaintiffs and defendants. If you have been falsely imprisoned or falsely arrested and have suffered damages as a result, Tilem & Associates’ detail-oriented New York false imprisonment litigation lawyers will aggressively prosecute your suit. On the other hand, if you are fighting allegations of false imprisonment or false arrest Tilem & Associates’ aggressive New York false arrest litigation attorneys will fight tooth and nail to protect you from life altering damages. If you have been sued for false imprisonment or, if you have a cause of action for false imprisonment, you need the toughest New York false arrest lawyers from Tilem & Associates on your side.

Call the Experienced New York Tort Litigation Lawyers at Tilem & Associates Today. Our Attorneys Will Prosecute or Defend Your False Imprisonment or False Arrest Case With the Most Aggressive Means Legally Available. Call Us at 877-366-8666, 24/7, for a Free Consultation.

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