False Imprisonment Attorney

Long Island Attorney for Those Falsely Imprisoned

False imprisonment is different than a false arrest. For a false arrest, the defendant needs to be arrested. But a false imprisonment only requires unlawful detention of an individual. A defendant commits false imprisonment when they unlawfully detain another person, against the other person's will, and the detention is done without the legal process.

When there is a false imprisonment, the plaintiff needs to prove the following elements.

  • defendant intends to detain them.
  • plaintiff was aware of the detention.
  • plaintiff did not agree to be detained.
  • detention was not legally justified.

In the state of New York, a private citizen or a police officer commits the tort of false imprisonment when they detain someone without legal authority. And those actions have consequences. Our law firm will fight for you and prosecute or defend your false imprisonment actions. Get a free consultation today.

Proving False Imprisonment

When it comes to false imprisonment, the plaintiff does not need to prove negligence, malice, or a lack of probable cause to establish false imprisonment. The defendant's intent is not relevant to proving false imprisonment. Having a noble intent is not going to hold up in the court of law. On the other hand, a defendant's malicious intent will not make a lawful detainment into a false one. Motive and intent are relevant to the issue of punitive damages in a false imprisonment claim. When a defendant commits the tort of false imprisonment willfully or maliciously, then the damages from the claim may not be discharged.


The most important element of a false imprisonment claim is detention. In order to prove detention, the plaintiff must show two things.

  1. The plaintiff needs to prove the defendant caused, authorized, directed or instigated the plaintiff's decision.
  2. The plaintiff needs to prove that they were detained.

Although this seems pretty straightforward, sometimes plaintiff cannot prove they were detained. Courts find that plaintiffs were not detained when they voluntarily went to a police station for questioning. They also find they are not detained when they voluntarily went with a police officer for a ride-along to see a fight. The courts also agree that being ticketed for traffic or parking violations does not establish an element of detention.

Police Officer Liability for False Imprisonment

Liability for false imprisonment can be very costly to defendants. This is especially true is the defendant is a police officer and their local municipality does not assume responsibility for the officer's conduct. Oftentimes, municipalities often argue that a police officer's actions were done outside of their scope of duty. Therefore, the municipality does not bear responsibility for the damages. If a municipality does show they are not responsible for the damages, then that is when the police officer can be personally liable. Also stemming from this liability is the fact that the municipality does not need to bear the cost of the officer's legal defense, leaving the officer to find legal representation through their own means. If a jury sustains a verdict against an officer, then the officer may also need to pay damages directly from their savings, assets, and potentially their wages.

Contact Falk & Klebanoff

False imprisonment claims are very serious and can have life altering consequences for both plaintiff and defendants. If you have been falsely imprisoned or have suffered damages from it, then get in touch with our law office today. We will work aggressively to prosecute your suit. And conversely, if you are fighting allegations of false imprisonment, we will fight for you to protect you from life altering damages. If you have been sued for false imprisonment or if you have a cause of action for false imprisonment, then get in touch with the best law firm on Long Island!

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When you reach out, we can provide you with a no-obligation consultation to go over your claim. On top of false imprisonment, we handle false arrest cases as well as police misconduct. Get the law office that will fight tooth and nail for you today.

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