False Imprisonment

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False Imprisonment

Postby Shaggier1 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:25 pm

For false imprisonment, most (every?) states require that the plaintiff be conscious of the confinement. Does anyone know what would happen if it was an infant or someone who was mentally disabled (to the extent that they were not conscious of the confinement)? Is there really no cause of action for FI in such cases?



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Re: False Imprisonment

Postby mbutterfly » Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:35 pm

I believe some jurisdictions (maybe a minority) accept either awareness of false or damages from false imprisonment. The infant or mentally-disabled person is a good question, and it could probably make a good hypo for a torts exam since it'd require you to address and counter the whole awareness thing.

The more I think about it, I think it becomes a more abstract question -- do babies or the mentally-disable have awareness of their environment and their circumstances?

I remember reading a case for class where the guy was superbly drunk and he was locked in a room or something and the court held that he there was no false imprisonment because he did not have any awareness of what was going on, even if he was awake.

Tough one though.

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Re: False Imprisonment

Postby eddieg803 » Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:43 pm

The general rule in pretty much every jurisdiction is that awareness of the confinement is required because the tort is intentionally holding a person against their will, and will requires awareness. The Restatement allows recovery in a case where P is injured but incapable of awareness (infancy & incapacity), but of course the Restatement is not law and must be qualified.

TL;DR: Just know that in general awareness is a requirement, but the Restatement suggests exceptions in cases of infancy/incapacity if there is injury.

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Re: False Imprisonment

Postby uwb09 » Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:50 pm

Harm resulting from false imprisonment can suffice for infants. Our professor cited some case where a person put a baby in one of those big convenient store ice cream freezer things, and the infant suffered pretty bad injures as a result.

That just might be California though

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