Research & Writing Memo

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Student ID # 105228
5/30/2009

We can probably show that Brett arrested Jane. Arrest is an element of false imprisonment. Arrest means confinement against one’s will. An arrest can be affected through physical constraint as well as through personal coercion (its equivalent). When a store employee detains something of value that a reasonable patron would not leave without, the patron has been coerced and thus arrested. In this case, because Brett took Jane’s dog (something no reasonable person would leave behind), Jane was likely arrested. The elements of false imprisonment are intent to confine, arrest, and consciousness of confinement. In Moore v. City of Detroit, 252 Mich. App. 384, 652 N.W.2d 688 (2002), the court held that an action for false imprisonment can be maintained without alleging a false arrest involving government law enforcement. The court reasoned that the employee was not actually confined or restrained for any significant period of time which is required in satisfying a false imprisonment claim. The court stated that even if the employee had been locked in some enclosure, the confinements were momentary and fleeting or too brief and therefore insufficient to satisfy false imprisonment. An arrest must be against the will of the person confined; a patron who voluntarily follows a store employee back into the store is not arrested. In Bruce v. Meijers Supermarkets INC., 34 Mich. App. 352, 191 N.W.2d 132 (1971), a customer was shopping at Meijer’s in Lansing Michigan. Customer places two pairs of panties in her cart and continues shopping. Customer then places both pairs of panties on a counter other than where she found them. Customer checked out with the cashier. Customer leaves the store. Unidentified man approaches the customer. Unidentified man asks customer where she put the unpaid for panties which the man had seen in her cart while in the store. Customer assumed that the unidentified man was an employee of the store....
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