Is it False Arrest or False Imprisonment?
In false arrest in Ga. there is an arrest without probable cause. If a person is caught in a grocery store with items in their purchase bag that they didn’t pay for even if they items got there by a mistake, the store has reasonable suspicion to detain them, and investigate. OCGA 51-7-1
False imprisonment and malicious prosecution usually start from the unjustified prosecution of an innocent individual with malice. 51-7-20 Malice is a general disregard for the other’s rights, and when the store didn’t investigate, follow it’s policy, or acts in bad faith without probable cause, it can be liable for damages including attorney fees.
What you want to look for: the length of the detention, the policies of the store, and the video at the scene, how clear is it that the individual is innocent, are the policies reasonable and within industry standards, did the store’s employees act in bad faith, or have malice towards the individual?
- Did the D employ a trained investigator to check the facts
- Did the D seek an opinion from an attorney
- Did the D attend any of the 10 criminal proceeding that the D attend
- What contacts did the D have with the police, and prosecution
- Does the P have a good record, and it is unlikely that he is lying?
Sometimes one must file suit, obtain discovery, and take some depositions to make sure the client is not the one in the video who appears to be concealing items in their coat. But, there are cases of false arrest and malicious prosecution where the D has untrained Mall Cops who are not supervised, and are ready to handcuff customers at the flip of a coin.