Question: What do you have to prove in order to establish a claim of false imprisonment?
Answer: The tort of false imprisonment occurs when there is an (1) unlawful (2) restraint (3) upon one’s freedom of movement or the deprivation of one’s liberty (4) without consent. False imprisonment is the unlawful restraint upon one’s freedom of movement or the deprivation of one’s liberty without consent. A defendant may be liable for false arrest when he or she arrests the plaintiff in the absence of probable cause to do so. Probable cause for arrest is demonstrated by facts and circumstances known to the arresting officer which would warrant a person of reasonable caution and prudence in believing that the accused had committed or was committing a criminal offense. Thus, if the plaintiff in a false arrest action fails to demonstrate the absence of probable cause, or if the record as a whole reflects probable cause for the arrest, then the plaintiff’s case must fail. Probable cause is normally an issue for the jury’s determination.