The Dispute Between Georgia Shopkeeper's Defense Statute For False Imprisonment
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The Complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted because Georgia Shopkeeper’s Defense statute guarantees immunity to R-Mart because it had a reasonable suspicion and investigated in a reasonable time and manner.
The Georgia Shopkeeper’s Defense statute bars the Plaintiff’s suit. The statute bars recovery for false imprisonment by merchants or their agents when all of its elements are met. The Shopkeeper’s Defense statute provides in order to preclude recover the following three elements must be present: (1) reasonable suspicion of shoplifting, (2) reasonable time of detention, and (3) reasonable manner of detention. Ga. Code Ann. § 51-7-60 (2015). The Plaintiff and Defendant have agreed that the Plaintiff’s behavior on September 29, 2015, was sufficient to cause a reasonable person to suspect her of shoplifting, and that the length of the Plaintiff’s detention was reasonable. Therefore, the only element in dispute is the reasonableness of the manner in which the Plaintiff was detained. As such, R-Mart should be protected under the statute and the Plaintiff could only recover for false imprisonment if the facts alleged in the complaint demonstrates the manner was unreasonable.
The manner in which Abagnale was detained is reasonable because the employee acted within the proper discharge of his duties and only to the extent necessary to investigate and ascertain the truth.
The manner in which R-Mart employees detained Frances Abagnale was