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Grant v. Stop-N-Go Market of Texas, Inc.

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Gerald Grant filed a false imprisonment suit against Stop-No-Go Market of Texas, Inc. after a store manager accused Grant of Stealing and refused to let Grant leave the store until the police were called.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    A plaintiff can recover on charges of false imprisonment if the plaintiff was detained either by threat or physical restraint.

    Facts.

    Calhoun, the manager of a Stop-N-Go store, accused Gerald Grant (Grant) of stealing and told Grant that he could not leave the store until the police were called. Although Calhoun claims that he did not tell Grant to remain in the store, Grant claims that he was afraid to leave, and was brought into police custody soon after the police were called. Grant filed suit on charges of false imprisonment and the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Stop-N-Go. Grant appealed.

    Issue.

    Whether a plaintiff can recover on charges of false imprisonment when the plaintiff was not physically restrained?

    Held.

    Yes. Reversed and remanded.

    Discussion.

    False imprisonment is defined as the lawless, unconsented detention of an individual. False imprisonment can be accomplished through force, threat, physical restraint, and violence. For a plaintiff to recover on charges of false imprisonment by threat, the plaintiff must fear injury on their person or property. Although Calhoun claims that Gerald Grant (Grant) was not restrained without his consent, Grant claims that Calhoun instructed him not to leave until the police arrived and that he was fearful of the consequences of his leaving the Stop-N-Go. Because there is a genuine issue of material fact to whether or not Grant consented to remaining at the Stop-N-Go, the trial court erred in granting summary judgment to Stop-N-Go.


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