Legal Question in Civil Rights Law in New York

I have read disturbing stories about mall's security guard. Those stories included handcuffed then handover to police, took into the basement for questions, and ask(force) to leave. I want to know just how many power those security guard have and what is my right as a citizen. Can they really handcuff someone and take him into a private room? If i were treated like that, can i sue them?

Asked on 10/16/11, 7:14 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Paula McGill Attorney at Law

There are always possible claims for false imprisonment, false arrest, slander, assault, and battery when security guards fail to act reasonably under the circumstances.

For instance, if they believe you just shoplifted, they can detain you for a reasonable period of time to determine if their suspicions are correct. If they yell "stop thief" and you didn't steal anything, they open themselves up to a slander suit. Even if you stole something from one of the stores, they cannot beat you senseless if you don't resist. Moreover, even if you resist, they have to use reasonable force to detain you.

Licensed and Practicing in New York

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Answered on 10/18/11, 11:24 pm

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