7 Q.B. 742 (1845)

One-Sentence Takeaway:  If plaintiff is free to go where he wants, he cannot sustain an action of false imprisonment; if he is prevented from going where he may have a right to go, a mere partial obstruction to his will may be the basis of some other form of action, but not one for false imprisonment.

Summary: Defendant had improperly blocked a portion of a public highway by enclosing an area for the purpose of charging admission fee for a boat race.  Plaintiff attempted to continue his travel down the public highway by entering the enclosed area, but was prevent from doing so by Defendant’s agents.  Plaintiff sued Defendant for false imprisonment.

The court ruled that no imprisonment occurred because Plaintiff was not confined to any bounded area.  Instead, he was prevented from going the one direction he pleased.  That may support a cause for some other tort, but not one for false imprisonment.

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