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False imprisonment, sometimes called false arrest, is a tort that protects an individual's freedom from improper restraint and includes more than simple incarceration. An individual can be wrongfully confined when in an open street, traveling in an automobile, or even confined in an entire city. Generally, there can be no tort of false imprisonment unless a defendant intends to cause a plaintiff's confinement. This entry briefly describes the law and provides examples of education-related cases.

According to the Restatement (Second) of Torts, an action for false imprisonment requires that a plaintiff be aware of the wrongful confinement at the time it occurs. Damages can include compensation for loss of a plaintiff's time, physical discomfort, mental distress, and humiliation. The wrongful restraint may be caused by the ...

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