Flashcards in Trespass to the Person - False Imprisonment Deck (24)
What is false imprisonment?
As stated in the case of Collins v Wilcock, false imprisonment is - the ‘unlawful imposition of constraint on another’s freedom of movement from a particular place’.
What are the three key elements that must be satisfied for a claim of false imprisonment?
1. The defendant must intend the restriction of the claimant’s freedom of movement,
2. There must be a complete restriction of the claimant’s freedom of movement, and
3. It must be done without lawful authorisation.
Which case clarified the requirement of intention?
Iqbal v Prison Officers Association - here it was established that false imprisonment can be committed intentionally or recklessly.
What is the requirement of a complete restriction of movement?
A complete restriction of movement is necessary, but even momentary (complete) restriction of movement can give rise to liability.
Which case illustrates that momentary complete restriction of movement can give rise to liability for false imprisonment?
Walker v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis
What were the details and findings of the Walker Case?
The claimant was unlawfully blocked by a policeman in a doorway for a few seconds.
This was held to constitute unlawful false imprisonment.
Is there false imprisonment if there is a reasonable means of escape?
No, a reasonable means of escape precludes false imprisonment.
Which cases illustrate the effect of a reasonable means of escape upon potential false imprisonment actions?
Bird v Jones
Robinson v Balmain Ferry
What were the details and findings of the Bird v Jones Case?
The Defendant had erected seating on Hammersmith for the watching of the boat race. This blocked the claimant’s path across the bridge. It was held that this did not constitute a false imprisonment, rather, only a “partial obstruction of his will”.
What were the details and findings of the Robinson v Balmain Ferry Case?
The claimant had paid a penny to enter a wharf in order to catch a ferry but then changed his mind. The defendants refused to let him leave without paying another penny.
This was held not to constitute false imprisonment.
Which case clarified the laws position on acts and omissions?
Iqbal v Prison Officers’ Association
What were the details and findings of the Iqbal Case?
Prison officers went on strike. As a direct consequence the defendant was not released from his cell for exercise as normal. It was held that the officers were not liable, as an individual could only be liable for failing to release a person to whom they specifically owed a positive duty.
Does the claimant need to be conscious during the period of false imprisonment to launch a claim?
No, a claim for false imprisonment can still arise even where the claimant is unconscious or unaware of it.
Which cases established that consciousness is not necessary for actionable false imprisonment?
1. Meering v Grahame-White Aviation
2. Murray v Ministry of Defence
What was said in the case of Meeting v Grahame-White?
Here it was said - ‘[I]t appears to me that a person could be imprisoned without his knowing it. I think a person can be imprisoned while he is asleep, while he is in a state of drunkenness, while he is unconscious, and while he is a lunatic … Of course the damages might be diminished and would be affected by the question whether he was conscious of it or not’.
What was said in the case of Murray v Ministry of Defence?
Here it was said - ‘[T]he law attaches supreme importance to the liberty of the individual and if he suffers a wrongful interference with that liberty it should remain actionable even without proof of special damage’
What are the defences for false imprisonment falling under the 'without lawful authorisation or excuse' requirement?
2. Statutory Authority
Which case illustrates that consent is an applicable defence for false imprisonment?
Herd v Weardale Steel, Coke and Coal Co
What are the details and findings of the Herd v Weardale Steel Case?
A Miner considered the conditions in the mine to be dangerous, refused to continue working and asked to be taken in the lift to the surface before the end of his shift. The employer refused and he was taken to the surface an hour and a half later. It was held that there had been no false imprisonment.
What is the authority for the notion that statutory authority is a defence for false imprisonment?
s. 24A Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
Which case illustrates that statuary authority is an applicable defence for false imprisonment?
R (Lumba) v Secretary of State for the Home Department
What are the details and findings of the Lumba Case?
A foreign national prisoner due for deportation at the end of his sentence, was continued to be detained by the Home Secretary for 5 years after the end of his sentence, because it was not possible for the Home Secretary to deport him.
It was held this was unlawful because the decision to detain him was made on the basis of an unpublished blanket policy.
Which case illustrates that the defence of necessity is applicable to cases of false imprisonment?
Austin v The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis