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I called Matt after several people recommended him. He was very kind and did a very good job on my son’s case. We are very thankful for the work he did. Most importantly, he was never hard to reach and answered every question we had while going through the process. Matt is the only attorney I will ever call in the future.
My husband is a cyclist that did not fair well against an SUV recently. Matt and his team took phenomenal care of us, allowing us not to stress out (too much) about the little things. Matt and his team handled everything with professionalism. We know we made the right call.
So glad I hired this firm after my rearend car accident. Matt embodies the skill set and values I was looking for. He treats every case like a mini war, and was a zealous advocate on my behalf. And he did so in the most competent and skillful manner. He listened, was empathetic and understood my legal and nonlegal problems.
My 85-year old mom was in a motor vehicle accident with an uninsured motorist. His love, thoroughness and commitment to her case helped us through this accident and her cancer treatment. She underwent successful lobectomy and chemotherapy and is doing exceptionally well. We are immensely grateful.
It was important to me to get the maximum money I could for my broken neck and arm. After getting jerked around for months by State Farm, I interviewed several firms and chose Mr. Wetherington. I’m glad I did. He forced the insurance company to pay twenty times their last offer to me.
It is an honor to share my experience with Mr. Wetherington. He was able to get answers about what happened in my son’s wreck that other attorney’s were not able to do. I am so thankful for the work that he did and he was very thorough in his explanation of why the vehicle had a “defect.”
My case did not settle. The person that hit me only had minimal policy limits. Fortunately, I had my own insurance, which should have provided more money. My insurance company, Allstate, treated me like garbage. We had to sue them and go all the way to trial, which we won.
- Jane Doe
Matt Wetherington is the attorney who is suing the booting companies. We need to do everything we can as a community to help him succeed. God bless you, Mr. Wetherington!
The best! Great people and always friendly.
Georgia False Imprisonment Lawyers
The pursuit of life, liberty and happiness are guaranteed to every US citizen by the Declaration of Independence. These are “unalienable” rights given to every human by their creator, according to our founding document, and it is the duty of our government to protect these rights.
Unalienable: means incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred.
At the Wetherington Law Firm, we believe it is our responsibility to take every action legally possible in the defense of our clients’ civil rights. We take this responsibility seriously and value the trust our clients place in our diligent representation to ensure their civil rights are protected. It’s imperative that you hire an experienced advocate who will tirelessly and persistently pursue compensation for you or your family member who was subjected to false imprisonment.
What is False Imprisonment?
False imprisonment is the unlawful detention of another, for any length of time, whereby the person is deprived of personal liberty and freedom. False imprisonment can occur by a private person, company, or government entities.
Misconduct in false imprisonment occurs when an individual is confined against their will by law enforcement without legal justification and is the most prevalent type of police misconduct.
False imprisonment can also happen when a person’s property is unlawful detained, such as holding a person’s purse, animal, or vehicle.
Examples of False Imprisonment
- Threating someone verbally to keep them on the scene or confined;
- Illegally detaining someone, perhaps on a street, for questioning through the abuse of police authority;
- Using physical force to restrain someone without probable cause;
- Handcuffing an individual without probable cause;
- Detaining someone in the back of a police car without probable cause
- Restraining someone in a jail cell or a police interview room by means such as locking the door, and preventing them from leaving;
- Detaining a person’s personal property, such as a purse;
- Booting a person’s vehicle to preventing them from leaving;
- Preventing an individual from leaving his or her own home.
A victim who has a reasonable belief that he or she was being confined or detained may have an actionable false imprisonment claim.
Federal and state laws, including Georgia law, protect people from false arrest and imprisonment. This misconduct is a direct violation of your 4th Amendment freedom.
False Imprisonment by Law Enforcement
Unfortunately, many citizens are wrongly imprisoned and incarcerated each year; statistically speaking, data shows African Americans are only 13% of the American population. But, a majority of defendants who are wrongfully convicted of crimes and later exonerated are African American. They constitute 47% of the 1,900 exonerations listed in the National Registry of Exonerations (as of October 2016). Worse, African Americans are overwhelmingly the main targets in proven scandals where police officers have been caught intentionally framing innocent defendants for crimes that never occurred.
Police officers exercise incredible power and authority in the course of doing their jobs. Lives hang in the balance daily based upon their decisions. We believe the majority of law enforcement officers truly desire to protect and serve, and that they are honorable men and women who make the best possible decisions in what are often deadly circumstances. Sadly, there are many other police officers out there who are decidedly unfit for duty – they need control over others, are prejudiced and self-seeking, feeling the need to be right at all costs.
These cases often lead to more than false imprisonment – assault, battery, rape, and more. If that happens, you will need our Atlanta abuse of force lawyers.
False imprisonment in the context of law enforcement refers to the unlawful detention of a person for any length of time. It does not include the arrest of a person. False arrest is a form of false imprisonment, but involves a different body of law.
False Imprisonment by Persons Other than Law Enforcement
Over the last decade, vehicle booting companies are responsible for more false imprisonments in Georgia than any other industry, including security guards. Unlike booting, security guards are less likely to commit false imprisonment because there is a specific statute that authorizes the reasonable detention of a potential shoplifter:
Whenever the owner or operator of a mercantile establishment or any agent or employee of the owner or operator detains, arrests, or causes to be detained or arrested any person reasonably thought to be engaged in shoplifting and, as a result of the detention or arrest, the person so detained or arrested brings an action for false arrest or false imprisonment against the owner, operator, agent, or employee, no recovery shall be had by the plaintiff in such action where it is established by competent evidence:
(1) That the plaintiff had so conducted himself or behaved in such manner as to cause a man of reasonable prudence to believe that the plaintiff, at or immediately prior to the time of the detention or arrest, was committing the offense of shoplifting, as defined by Code Section 16-8-14; or
(2) That the manner of the detention or arrest and the length of time during which such plaintiff was detained was under all the circumstances reasonable.
This does not mean that a security guard at a place like Wal-Mart or Kroger cannot commit false imprisonment. Under this statute, there are two important things to consider. First, the detainer must have a reasonable suspicion that the person being detained was shoplifting. Second, the length of detention must be reasonable under the circumstances.
Legal Requirements for False Arrest and False Imprisonment Claims
- Use of force or a show of authority
- Genuine belief that you are not free to leave
- Intentional restriction of movement or freedom without probable cause
Many false arrest claims involve private security guards. When security officers stop someone and question that person, there are strict guidelines they must follow. Failure to follow these guidelines could cause the security guard (and his employer) to become liable for damages stemming from false arrest claims.
In Georgia, the only essential elements in a suit for false imprisonment are detention of the person of the plaintiff without his/her consent and its unlawfulness. Therefore, if one should detain another without the person’s consent and that detention was without the authority of law, the person detained would be entitled to recover.
Do You Have a Civil Claim for False Imprisonment?
Civil claims include monetary compensation for injuries sustained as a result of false imprisonment, including pain, suffering, lost time, reputation damage and emotional harm. If you suspect yourself or a loved one has suffered harm from false imprisonment, determine if your situation meets the following legal criteria:
- Your ability to move freely was restrained; and.
- There was no legal justification to restrain or detain you.
For the first criteria—being held against one’s will—is defined using a “reasonable person” standard, which is objective. Would a reasonable person in the same situation have believed he or she was being held against his or her will?
For the second criteria, the most important component is the method in which the individual was detained. Force or physical restraint is not necessary to prove this criterion. Sometimes, the threat of force or harm results in the individual feeling like they are not free to leave. Other times, the detention can be unlawful based on a failure to comply with an enabling act, such as the shopkeepers statute we discussed above.