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Civil Liability and Private Police Paper - Essay Example

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Civil Liability and Private Police Paper Private police seems to have been increasing in number and expanding its areas, from simple security protection from thieves and robbers to intricate investigation of criminal as well as civil cases, areas which used to be handled by public law enforcement agencies only…
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Civil Liability and Private Police Paper
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Download file to see previous pages or its employees (also known as torts); and (2) criminal acts committed by the security company or its employees. The major source of liabilities of the private police is the tort law which is rooted on negligence rather than on malice or evil intent. Following are the usual torts committed or imputed to private police: battery, assault, infliction of mental distress, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, trespass to land, trespass to personal property, negligence, defamation, and invasion of privacy. Hence, any mistake committed by a private police may be the subject of a tort lawsuit. The Fourth Amendment provides protection to the citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures and arbitrary arrest and detention. A reading of the provision creates an impression that it is geared towards the protection of citizens against public authorities. In fact, even the Courts have some apprehensions in applying the said provision against private entities and individuals. In the case of Burdeau vs. McDowell (256 U.S. 465 [1921]), the Supreme Court Civil Liability and Private Police Paper ruled unequivocally that the provision is not applicable to complainants arrested or searched by private parties. Due to the said ruling, the private police continued to avoid all restrictions imposed upon their public counterparts. On the issue of arrests, private police enjoy the protection afforded to private individuals on the argument that they act for and in behalf of the person, business entity or corporation that hired them; thus, their employer practically transferred the latter’s basic right of protection of their persons and properties against unreasonable searches, seizures, and arrests. This is so in spite of the general knowledge that the function of private police is akin to that of the public law enforcement agencies, albeit limited to the interest of their employers. However, the conclusion is still the same – that unless the private police are deputized or commissioned through a valid law, they do cannot enjoy the powers given to the public authorities. Hence, private police, when it comes to the issue of arrests and seizures, must be confined within the ambit of the theories of self-defense, defense of another or the property of another, crime prevention, and citizen’s arrest. Similarly, in cases of invasion of privacy or defamation, the private police may rely only on exercise of reasonable limitations. On the other hand, in cases of negligence, the possible defences are contributory negligence and assumption of risk by the complainant. Considering that private police are usually engaged in situations requiring restraint or detention, most often for investigation purposes, the possibility of being held liable for assault is high. Following are the elements of assault: (1) an act; (2) intent to harm or make offensive contact or to cause apprehension; (3) apprehension must be imminent; and (4) apprehension is caused by the defendant. Perusal of the above-enumerated elements show the apparent absence of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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