making a 'citizens arrest'

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Old 08-08-09, 12:35 PM
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making a 'citizens arrest'

Is this something that actually can be done?

Tom Hanks declared it in the goofy movie, "The Burbs"( I think to Dr. Klopec). But can you realistically do one of these? Legally?

Why would anyone even bother to stop and have you citizens arrest them? You'd think they would exclaim that favorite expletive regarding you minding your own business and getting lost.

If this concept is some real thing you can do - who came up with it? It seems something foolhardy to attempt to do without being armed.

Somebody I was talking to the other day said he was thinking about making a citizens arrest on someone for something. I can't remember what it was though.
 
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Old 08-08-09, 04:17 PM
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Generally a "citizen's arrest" is done while a "crime" is being committed, not several days later or for civil matters. Make sure when you consider this, 1) a crime has actually been committed, 2) you have a way of summoning the authorities to relieve you of your prey, 3) you have a way of detaining them so you don't commit a crime yourself and 4)you are bigger and badder than they are.
A 5'2" granny may have a difficult time detaining a 6'3" 275 lb. punk (without a friend, of course, either in 9mm or 45 acp.)
 
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Old 08-08-09, 04:45 PM
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States all have different (but similar) rules. Most places say observe, remember and report...do not attempt to detain. And I think it only really applies to criminal offenses committed right in front of you that you reasonably believe the person can escape completely.

Oh, and if you apply the rules wrong you can be criminally charged with things like kidnapping and sued personally.
 
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Old 08-08-09, 05:22 PM
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as the others have stated, yes, there is such a thing as a citizens arrest. There are specific laws that control them and each state has different law and rules when performing such an arrest.

give me a state and I will see if I can find the laws for you
 
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Old 08-09-09, 08:03 AM
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I think the citizen's arrest is left over from a previous time and now rendered pretty much obsolete by our litigious society.

I would stick to observe, record and report.
 
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Old 08-09-09, 01:45 PM
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It didn't work too well for Gomer and I'm sure you'd be sued today for 'something'.

 
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Old 08-09-09, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
States all have different (but similar) rules. Most places say observe, remember and report...do not attempt to detain. And I think it only really applies to criminal offenses committed right in front of you that you reasonably believe the person can escape completely.

Oh, and if you apply the rules wrong you can be criminally charged with things like kidnapping and sued personally.
Wiouldn't this then be simply 'calling in' a crime in progress? Not an actual citizens arrest? A citizen's arrest should be more like, "Hold it right there (Bub). You are committing an illegal act. You are hereby under citizens arrest. Stay put. The police will be on their way." (If that was you, the criminal, would you go, "Okay - ya got me - I'll stay for the police to come get me, because you said so." ?
 
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Old 08-09-09, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Baldwin View Post
It didn't work too well for Gomer and I'm sure you'd be sued today for 'something'.

That's Barney Fife. ......................
 
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Old 08-09-09, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by nap View Post
give me a state and I will see if I can find the laws for you
Wisconsin.

..............................................

Then for the heck of it try Montana or Wyoming. Maybe there they allow ranchers to shoot people on sight.
 
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Old 08-09-09, 03:06 PM
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Baldwin...you know that ain't Gomer right? He may have been kind of a gomer..but he wasn't "Gomer"..... lol
 
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Old 08-09-09, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
Wisconsin.

..............................................

Then for the heck of it try Montana or Wyoming. Maybe there they allow ranchers to shoot people on sight.
Wisconsin: there are no statutes describing a method required to be followed concerning a citizens arrest except in the case of a retail theft (shoplifting situation). As such, it is controlled by common law (court decisions rule) but yes, it is still an available action.

here is an article from Wisconsin Department of Justice that speaks to the action. It apparently is available for either a felony or a misdemeanor.

as others have stated, you would be liable for false arrest should the action not have a legal justification.

I'll look for the other states in a few.
 
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Old 08-09-09, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
Baldwin...you know that ain't Gomer right? He may have been kind of a gomer..but he wasn't "Gomer"..... lol
Yes, I know that isn't Gomer. I'm almost 58 and know most episodes by heart. Actually, it's on TV Land right now.....you just missed the episode where Barney tries to be a mannequin in the hardware store.

Per the OP: don't remember what Gomer did but Barney gave him a ticket. Shortly there after Gomer went screaming across the street...."citizens arrest, citizens arrest" when Barney made a U-turn.

One of the best shows to ever hit the TV in my opinion.
 
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Old 08-10-09, 11:53 AM
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Good episode; I knew what you were talking about.
 
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Old 08-10-09, 11:54 AM
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I remember it as well...lol
 
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Old 08-10-09, 12:02 PM
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As to the original post, I saw an episode of "Cops" a while back and they showed a guy who was on a crusade against drunk drivers. He followed them around until they pulled over and parked (they showed him doing one in front of a convenicne store), then blocked them in and called police. He had to announce his intentions to the perp and also inform the cops of same on their arrival. Don't rember where this was, but out west somewhere I think.
 
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Old 08-10-09, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Baldwin View Post
Yes, I know that isn't Gomer. I'm almost 58 and know most episodes by heart. Actually, it's on TV Land right now.....you just missed the episode where Barney tries to be a mannequin in the hardware store.

Per the OP: don't remember what Gomer did but Barney gave him a ticket. Shortly there after Gomer went screaming across the street...."citizens arrest, citizens arrest" when Barney made a U-turn.

One of the best shows to ever hit the TV in my opinion.
I saw that rerun not long ago!! Funny.

Did you ever see the one where they were all at Aunt B's, at the dinner table eating, and the subject of the Emancipation Proclamation came up (I think Oppey had to know for school),and Barney tried to explain to Oppey what the Emancipation Proclamation meant, when Barney was challenged on what it meant? And Barney, not having a clue himself, made up some gibberish using the very words to describe it? While Oppey was looking at Barney admirally as if Barney was some real brains? While Andy grinned, knowing that Barney was just trying to save face?
 
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Old 08-10-09, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by the_tow_guy View Post
As to the original post, I saw an episode of "Cops" a while back and they showed a guy who was on a crusade against drunk drivers. He followed them around until they pulled over and parked (they showed him doing one in front of a convenicne store), then blocked them in and called police. He had to announce his intentions to the perp and also inform the cops of same on their arrival. Don't rember where this was, but out west somewhere I think.
In real life, to attempt this would take someone with galls of steel. I stil can't imagine someone sitting there waiting for the police to come, unless you were aggressive and put a choke hold on them or whatever.
 
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Old 08-10-09, 04:30 PM
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Thanks nap, for doing the research.
 
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Old 08-10-09, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
Thanks nap, for doing the research.
believe it or not, that is what I do when I am not here or at work.
 
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Old 08-19-09, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by nap View Post
believe it or not, that is what I do when I am not here or at work.
Do you make any money at it? If so, teach us all how, on an appropriate thread.
 
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Old 08-19-09, 07:47 AM
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On "Pimp My Ride", last night, they converted a kids Caprice ex-police car into a custom Impala. And the main dude on the show mentioned about the kid making citizen's arrests in the ex-squad car. But mentioned a problem might arise from there not being that front seat-back seat divider, nor handcuffs.
 
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Old 08-19-09, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
Do you make any money at it? If so, teach us all how, on an appropriate thread.
nah, no money. They are sites similar to these only geared to legal matters.

The law is something I have always enjoyed. It also helps me learn the law as well. Nothing better than to be well armed.
 
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Old 08-19-09, 02:14 PM
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generally, in most states, when performing a citizens arrest, one would simply detain until the police arrive.

Transporting a person can add a completely new level of liability should something happen or the arresting party be wrong.
 
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Old 08-19-09, 02:56 PM
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That's why even trying to come to the aid of someone, these days, is scary. Can you imagine performing CPR on someone who is not dead yet, and you break a rib and puncture their heart and they die? - all because you thought you were being helpful -and get sued for all you are worth?

I saw a comedy movie either last night or the night before, whenre this goofy b-actor (you'd know the guy) was performing CPR on some guy who wasn't even dead yet.)
 
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Old 08-19-09, 03:38 PM
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I think every state in the Union now has a "Good Samaritan" law. If you are trying to help, you cannot be held liable in either criminal or civil court.
 
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Old 08-20-09, 07:21 AM
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Hmmm. Did not know that. It will be interesting looking that up and seeing if any cases have been sited. In our litigious society, I'm surprised they would have such a clause.

Why them aren't doctors considered Good Samaritans, and thereby not be excempt from being sued?????

...........................

Just got back from Wikipedia. Yes, you are right. And they also mention that this does not usually include the medical profession, but does cover for some emergency response crews.

Why not???? Because they should know better in not making a mistake? Hmmmmm. Trying to figure out the rationale here will take some further thought.

This is a prime example of why I have a problem with the passage of many of our laws - our legislation. Often the introduction of one law regarding one thing, then makes it unfair regarding something else. The legislators never think of that.

A good actual case in point is the billions of dollars in penalties levied against Big Tobacco, when Big Alcohol was left totally off the hook. Or how Big Grease was let off the hook completely. Etc. Maybe that is why the ten Commandments were so basic, and why only 10, rather than a billion laws.
 

Last edited by ecman51; 08-20-09 at 07:38 AM. Reason: More said below dotted line
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Old 08-20-09, 07:32 AM
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Because they are trained professionals and their is an implied contract or something like that.

Kinda like if you have your neighbor help wire up your house and it burns down..what could you really do if you didn't pay him. But if you hire a licensed electrician...he can be held liable.

Thats why the laws were passed..so people wouldn't be afraid of TRYING to help..instead of just standing around watching some poor sucker choke on his Big Mac.
 
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