Brief Fact Summary.
The plaintiff was accused of stealing items from the defendant employer. In the course of the search for the missing items, the plaintiff was asked to remain in the guardhouse with two guards instructed to keep him there.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
False imprisonment requires a victim to be totally restrained and to have not given implied consent.
The trial judge's findings of fact, particularly those involving the credibility of witnesses testifying before him, are entitled to great weight on appeal, and his conclusions as to the facts will not be disturbed unless found to be clearly erroneous.View Full Point of Law
The plaintiff was working a shift as a guard-fireman at the defendant’s plant in Lake Charles when two lawnmowers belonging to the defendant were allegedly stolen. Two employees of the defendant went to the plaintiff’s home to search for the missing lawnmowers, and the plaintiff refused the search on the advice of his attorney. The plaintiff and defendant’s employees returned to the plant, where the plaintiff was asked to wait in the guardhouse. Two guards were ordered to keep him there, but both guards claim they did not consider the plaintiff to be a prisoner. The plaintiff fell ill and was allowed to leave. He did not spend more than 30 minutes inside the guard house.
Was the plaintiff falsely imprisoned?
No. The trial court judgement is affirmed.
In this short excerpt from the case, the court agrees with the trial court that the plaintiff was not falsely imprisoned because he was never totally restrained. The plaintiff also failed to ever reveal to anyone that he did not wish to stay in the guardhouse. This demonstrates his implied consent to remain there.