memo for paralegal studies class
TO: Jay’s mom
FROM: Law Firm
DATE: May 5, 2014
SUBJECT: Memo for paralegal studies class
False imprisonment falls under the jurisdiction of a tort or a crime. Under the intentional torts, the imprisonment entails the process of detaining individuals, hence limiting their freedom. False imprisonment can also be termed as false arrest, which is an intentional tort. Under this, the individuals are arrested after considering the laws that are in existence.
False imprisonment can, therefore, be an intentional tort, because freedom of movement for an individual is restricted. A tort is harmful because it results in injury to another person. It is vital to note that, the harm or injury can either be psychological, physical or damages to one’s possessions. Accordingly, the type of tort committed can only be determined by the state of affairs or mind of the person who is enhancing the tort. Unlike other torts that involve accidents or falling accidentally, intentional torts never come as a result of recklessness or negligence. They are actions that are performed by the tortfeasor with a particular intent in mind (Durlauf 15). Such acts lead to harm or injury to the other party, and the plaintiff who is the offended can sue for damages where necessary. False imprisonment, therefore, involves the restraining of an individual unlawfully which is against their desire and without any jurisdictions of the law. In the case of Jay and his friends, he was falsely imprisoned, when, in essence, he was not the one who stole their teacher’s wallet.
Equally important, when individual consents to be detained without any force, he or she may not claim that they were imprisoned falsely. Such an instance occurs when individuals commit a crime and later turn themselves to the police without any duress. Personal damages can only be awarded by a court of law when all the elements of false imprisonment are provided by the offended. Jay was coerced into prison after the teacher closed all the doors of the classroom, hence constituting the case as that of false imprisonment.
In the same fashion, false imprisonment can be seen as an intentional tort or crime, and this depends on the jurisdiction where the case falls. Different regions implore varying rules in connection with the laws that prevail in those places. A tort is an offense, which mandates the tortfeasor to pay damages after a court ruling on the case (Nagin 120). This is different from a criminal offense, which is an action presented by the state to defend the welfare of the public. As such, it is always punishable by imprisonment or fine.
The elements of false imprisonment are similar even though they vary from one region to another. Before damages are awarded to the offended, the prosecutor has a mandate of providing proof that all the elements of false imprisonment were at play. In most cases, the acts of false imprisonment can be related to a misdemeanor. The act of false imprisonment can become kidnapping when the restricted party is detained for longer periods or moved to a different location from their detention point.
False arrest, on the other hand, is related closely to false imprisonment. A false arrest occurs when individuals are arrested without a credible warrant, court order or cause. Citizens and police officers can commit arrests that are false, and such acts can lead to harm or injuries to the offended. Cases that involve false arrests are usually determined by their legal basis or credible cause. However, the difference between false imprisonment and false arrest is minimal, but very crucial when making judgments. Under false arrest, the arrested party command some form of backing from the legal system, while false imprisonment incorporates all confinements that are not lawful. Like false arrests, false imprisonment can be termed as a tort as well as a crime.
False imprisonment can also refer to restraint by an individual who has no jurisdiction or authority (Simon 530). For example, when a bank robber commands all the customers in the bank to lie down, they always oblige because they are aware that they might be killed. Such customers lie down without their consent or will, because of the threats that have been hurled at them and the imminent fear that they might be shot. As such, the customers are liable to compensation from the bank for false imprisonment, while the robber might be charged with false imprisonment. The police on their part can also be charged with false imprisonment when they detain persons without authority and relevant justification.
In fact, it is vital to note that any individual can be liable for false imprisonment when they limit or restrict the freedom of others. Such acts are wrong and defined as criminal, and usually lead to the overall claim for damages by the offenders. Acts of false imprisonment can occur in a street, room or even in a car. In addition, the false arrest occurs when one party decides to arrest another without the express authority to perform such functions. When the arrested individual is taken into custody, the case changes to false imprisonment.
Every region has its own laws that protect them against confinement that is unlawful. To prove a claim towards false imprisonment, there are three elements that must be ascertained. The detention has to be unlawful, without the consent of the detained and willful. The elements of false imprisonment consider whether the restricted party was threatened or forced before being arrested. Force is always not required when an individual is being arrested. Force can be justified when a person is locked inside a room or car, because they are not given the freedom to move to where they desire with ease.
The application of a “reasonable person” is usually used by a jury to determine whether another person who is reasonable can consider an act of detention as being against the will of the detained. The idea brings about different situations that might be used during judgment. For example, when an individual holds the hand of the offended, and he or she can get free, then in such an instance, issues of false imprisonment are not considered. Similarly, when a single door is closed, and there is another door that can be used by the offended, then issues of false imprisonment are never considered in their favor. In the case of Jay and Simpson, the teacher locked all the doors and held them captive until the police arrived, and this clearly constitutes acts of false imprisonment.
The element of legal basis when one is detained is vital as it involves the laws that govern the land. There are different legal bases for restricting an individual, and they include the arrest of the individual lawfully by police officers, a consent that is voluntary and the detention by shop owners when they have a suspicion that something has been stolen from their premises.
Therefore, false imprisonment can avail itself of many forms, and may include the use of police officers to detain an individual against their will or threats. For offenders to receive compensation for damages, they are required to provide proof of the actions of the tortfeasor and have the belief that they were illegally confined. The court under its mandate will need to determine what other individuals would have done under similar circumstances.
Individuals can claim false compensation if they are locked up in a room with express authority to get free, and without their consent. This can also apply when their valuable belongings are confiscated with the intent of making them hostage in a particular place for long hours. Such individuals can claim compensation if they are able to proof that they were not willing and that their rights were violated in one way or another. However, such individuals cannot claim compensation if they confess that they were held unlawfully simply because they are exonerated of their crimes, or if they were in a position to free themselves when they were restricted in a particular place.
The defense to false imprisonment usually considers different facts before compensation is awarded. The jury often seeks to know whether consent was given before imprisonment or whether the person who imprisoned them had reasonable grounds to effect the imprisonment. When a person consents to be confined without any force cannot claim false imprisonment. It is, however, important to note that police officers often have a right to restrict movement of a suspect, when they believe the individual might have taken part in some form of crime.
Merchants are also allowed to detain individuals for a period of time when they believe that they were in the processes of committing theft. The court has a mandate of looking into the actions of individuals when they were detained and can ensure damages or compensation when the circumstances are not reasonable. In some instances, normal citizens are always given the right to arrest their fellow citizens while waiting for an officer to ensure proper process to arraign the individual in court.
It is not too late to sue Simpson for his actions as the plaintiff is in a position to start a claim through the court process. Jay will win the lawsuit because he suffered physically, emotionally and economically, and decided to move to another institution after the ordeal. His nightmares might cause him further distractions in life, and the threats and yelling of the teacher might make him think less of himself. Jay can be compensated by the courts, and this will allow him to continue with his life in a normal way. Simpson, on the other hand, will have to pay the damages and such provisions will deter him from acting in an outrageous manner in the future.
After successful claim to compensation by Jay, he may be awarded damages with the considerations of how the acts of Simpson affected him as an individual. The court will consider what the injuries cost him physically, mentally and monetarily. In the case of personal harm, the plaintiff who is Jay will be given money damages by Simpson or the institution that Simpson worked for as a teacher. This can only become possible if the institution is insured against such cases. The award to be given to Jay will be agreed upon by both the plaintiff and the defendant, and this will be reached after a negotiated amount of money. The money to be paid can also be negotiated with their insurance providers, their lawyers or expressly ordered by the judge after a court process.
Almost all injury damages that are given to the plaintiff are often grouped as “compensatory”, and this means that the plaintiff is required to be compensated for the things they lost during and after the ordeal. The damages awarded are always supposed to put the plaintiff back to their normal position after the injuries suffered. Most damages are quantified in monetary value, and this usually makes them easy to ascertain when payment is done. Damages for property or medical bills are easily quantifiable; hence placing a monetary value on them is always easy. However, injuries that concern suffering and pain or the incapacity to enjoy life due to limitations caused by accidents are hard to monetize, hence the need to have agreeable settlement packages between the concerned parties.
For Jay’s case, he will be awarded medical treatment to counter the trauma that was caused by the teacher. Jay will need to visit a psychiatrist to counter the nightmares, and all the costs associated with his treatment will be considered in the damages package. Other compensations for damages that Jay will receive include pain and suffering, emotional distress and loss of enjoyment. Damages on emotional distress will come as a result of the plaintiff’s nature of having nightmares, which were caused by the ordeal that he went through both in school and in prison.
In conclusion, Jay will receive damages on punitive damages because of the defendant’s conduct. Under punitive damages, the conduct of the defendant is often viewed as outrageous and out of proportion because of anger or other external factors. The damages are awarded on top of other damages and usually viewed as different from other compensations that desire to bring back the plaintiff to their normal state of being. The damages are given to the plaintiff with the main aim of punishing the defendant for their conduct and deter them from acting in such a manner in the future.
Durlauf, Steven N, and Daniel S Nagin. “Imprisonment and crime: Can both be reduced?” Criminology & Public Policy 10.1 (2011): 13-54. Print.
Nagin, Daniel S., Francis T. Cullen, and Cheryl Lero Jonson. “Imprisonment and Reoffending.” Crime and Justice 38.1 (2009): 115-200. Print.
Simon, Robert I. “The psychological and legal aftermath of false arrest and imprisonment.” The Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 21.4 (2012): 523-528.