False Imprisonment

Bird v. Jones 1845

The plaintiff wanted to go through a spectator area.
The police told him that he was not allowed to go through that area, but he was allowed to go on the other side of the area.

No false imprisonment.

He was able to go on the other side of the street.

Harnett v. Bond 1925

P was in a mental institution; he was released but he was told to go to an office several times.
When he showed up, the person in the office told him (wrongly) that he had to go back to the institution.
When the doctor came, he had to go back.

When the person told him to stay and wait, it was false imprisonment.

Psychological force is enough.

Herd v. Weardale Coal Co. 1915

A miner was in the pit. After a dispute had arisen, he demanded to be taken to the surface before his shift was due to end. The employers' agents at first refused to grant him the use of the cage. Thus he was stranded, idle in the pit for some 20 minutes.

His claim for damages for his detention failed.

He had entered the pit of his own accord.
His employers were under no duty to convey him to the surface until the end of the shift.
The action of false imprisonment helps to vindicate the constitutional right to personal freedom.
Who is imprisoned, otherwise than by due process of law, may secure immediate release by means of the writ of habeas corpus.

Herring v. Boyle 1834

A woman wanted to take her boy home, but the headmaster did not let him go because the parents had not paid the fees.

No false imprisonment.

The boy was not aware that he was kept at the school (because his parents had not paid the fees).
Back then, the defendant had to be aware of the imprisonment.
Now, that's different: See

Meering v. Graham White Aviation 1919 Court of Appeal

Meering was held in a room and questioned, because his employer though him to b a thief.

False imprisonment.
He got more money because he knew he was being kept there.

False imprisonment:
- if they know that they are held they get more money as if they were unaware
- they can sue even if they were drunk, unconscious, asleep.
Change in the law. Compare:

Murray v. Ministry of Defense 1988 House of Lords

The House confirmed MEERING v. GRAHAM WHITE AVIATION (1919)and overruled HERRING v. BOYLE (1834)

Robinson v. Balmain Ferry 1910 Privy Council
The defendant had a ticket office. They charged one penny when you entered the ferry.
Solicitor R wanted to leave the ferry. He had already paid one penny but he was asked to pay again when he left in Balmain.

No false imprisonment.

Contract, the conditions were reasonable and known to the plaintiff.
His freedom of action was not restricted to every side.
Persuasive precedent.

Sayers v. Harlow 1958 Urban District Council

A woman tried to escape out of a toilet, but when she tried to get out through the window, she fell down.

No false imprisonment.

The escape was dangerous, it was not intentional.

Sunbolf v. Alford 1838

Customers refused to pay.
The boss of the restaurant locked them, thus preventing them from leaving.

Case of false imprisonment.

You cannot lock someone up because of not-paying.

Wright v. Wilson 1699

In the case of false imprisonment, if you have the reasonable chance to escape, you have to do that, even if you commit trespass to land then.