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Bird v Jones (1845) 7 QB 742 (Link)

Facts:

Bird is crossing a bridge, and is stopped by Jones and policemen. No violence used, but it was expected that violence could have been used. Bird was able to go in another direction.

Issue(s):

Do Jones' actions constitute false imprisonment?

Ratio:

Partial obstruction, unaccompanied by force or threat of force, does not constitute false imprisonment.

Analysis:

Coleridge: NO
** Partial obstruction is not the same as total obstruction and detention
** False imprisonment must involve boundaries that cannot be crossed

Patteson: NO
** B had option to stay or go somewhere else
** B’s freedom was not totally restricted

Denman: YES
** Jones wanted money to cross the bridge; and used police for enforcement
** If a person is prevented from what they are lawfully allowed to do, then that constitutes imprisonment; it doesn’t matter that the person is allowed to do something else instead

Holding:

Decision in favour of Jones


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