A man was accused of shoplifting, and was allegedly voluntarily detained until police arrived.
Whether or not staying in a store for fear of repercussions constitutes false imprisonment is a legitimate question of fact for a judicial body.
The plaintiff was patronizing a store when the defendant’s employees accused him of shoplifting. He stayed in the store until the police arrived because he was afraid of legal trouble (warrants for his arrest, ect.) if he left. The then sued the store for false imprisonment.
Is the question of whether of not the plaintiff’s voluntarily staying in the store was false imprisonment a question for a finder of fact?
Yes, the question of false imprisonment was a question for a fact finding judicial body.
The court found for the plaintiff, and held that whether or not the plaintiff was falsely imprisoned is a question of fact. The mere fact that the plaintiff’s confinement stemmed from potential consequences rather than from physical bindings does not bar their claim. The court also notes that shopkeepers privilege (which allows shopkeepers to detain people suspected of shoplifting) does not apply because the plaintiff was held for longer than shopkeepers privilege allowed, and that the defendant had failed to turn over the surveillance camera tape despite several requests to do so.