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


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.


Do Jones' actions constitute false imprisonment?


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


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


Decision in favour of Jones

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