Have you been confined against your will and without legal justification? You may have a claim for what is called “false imprisonment” against a party or its employees or agents for causing the imprisonment or arrest. The main elements you need to show are that you were restrained against your will and the restraint was unlawful. To prove your case, you also must know that you were being confined. 

A lot of the time, false imprisonment claims are brought when someone was falsely arrested. You also do not have to show that you sustained actual damages to make a case for false imprisonment. You also do not have to show actual physical restraint or that you were handcuffed; the defendant ordering the arrest; or a formal declaration that you were being arrested.

Damages in a false imprisonment/arrest case may include:

  • Embarrassment
  • Humiliation
  • Physical injury
  • Disgrace
  • Mental suffering
  • Injury to reputation

Some factors influencing your damages may include:

  • The circumstances of the detention, including discomfort, inconvenience, or embarrassment to the detainee;
  • The length of the detention;
  • The plaintiff’s state in life and family situation;
  • The fear of physical or emotional harm suffered by the detainee; and
  • The knowledge of others concerning the detention and resulting damage to the reputation of the plaintiff

Who Can File a False Arrest or Imprisonment Lawsuit?

Unfortunately, unless the circumstances are extreme, cases like these are difficult to win. If you do have an extreme case, you may also be able to receive punitive damages if you can show actual malice by the defendant. This means the defendant’s conduct “was outrageous because of the defendant’s evil motive or reckless indifference to the rights of others.”

In Missouri, you must bring your false imprisonment claim within two years of being falsely imprisoned. See R.S.Mo. 516.140. However, if you are bringing your action against a police officer, the three-year statute of limitations may apply. In Kansas, on the other hand, you only have one year to bring your false imprisonment claim. See K.S.A. § 60-514.

The easiest way to determine whether you have a valid false arrest or imprisonment claim is to speak with a civil rights attorney. At Foster Wallace, LLC, we advise clients throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area who have been held against their will, and we only collect payment for our services after your case is won. Call our office today or fill out our online contact form to set up your free initial consultation.