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The necessary elements of a case for false imprisonment are deprivation of the liberty of another without his consent and without legal justification.
Petitioner employee alleged that she was the victim of sexual harassment by a coworker. She sued her employer, co-worker, supervisors, and union officials, for sexual harassment. The complaint initially filed was dismissed. In the false imprisonment count of her amended complaint, petitioner sued only the respondent coworker who blocked her egress from the bus on which she was working, she couldn’t get away from him, and he was barraging her with lascivious puerilities. The trial court dismissed petitioner's amended complaint. The appellate court affirmed the decision, and petitioner appealed.
Did the trial court err in dismissing petitioner's false imprisonment claim?
All three elements of false imprisonment were present. Respondent co-worker's conduct deprived petitioner of her liberty, without her consent, and without legal justification. First, petitioner denied consent. Second, the respondent did not possess legal authority for his actions. Finally, the respondent’s actions constitute an implicit threat of force that restrained petitioner’s liberty.