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You will be completing Additional Exercise 7 on page 329 of the textbook (attached below). As noted, the facts provided as part of Additional Exercise 6 (attached below) are helpful. In addition, you should consider the following information and the following Complaint Download Complaint

Elements of claim for False Imprisonment:

  • D intended to confine the P;
  • P was conscious of the confinement;
  • P did not consent to the confinement; and
  • The confinement was not otherwise

Elements of claim for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress:

  • D acted in an extreme and outrageous manner;
  • D intended to cause, or disregarded a substantial probability of causing, severe emotional distress;
  • Causal relationship between D’s conduct and P’s severe emotional distress;
  • P suffered severe emotional distress.

You represent Department Store, Inc. Assume the following facts.

Plaintiff waited over two years to file her complaint in federal court. In your research, you learn that the statute of limitations on false imprisonment claims in the state of Washington is two years. You also discover that probable cause is an affirmative defense to a false imprisonment claim for both officials and private citizens.

You have talked to the manager. This is what you have learned. The jacket was expensive and since the plaintiff sought a refund and claimed to have purchased it at a different store, the customer service agent called the manager.

In fact, the store policy is that the store does give refunds where merchandise is unsatisfactory and is returned within two weeks. The manager believed that the receipt plaintiff produced looked “wrong.” He asked that the plaintiff wait in front of the register while he investigated the matter. She said she was happy to do so.

On examining the receipt, the manager became concerned that it was faked and was part of an effort to defraud the store. (There have been other instances where people have faked receipts to return merchandise they did not purchase from the store, seeking refunds.) The manager therefore called store security to ensure that the plaintiff did not leave and then also called the police. When the police arrived, he told them his suspicion, and the police said they’d take over the investigation.

Finally, the manager told you that while the plaintiff was being escorted out of the store by police officers, she used a black marker to write on any piece of clothing she could reach. He estimates that she damaged clothes worth about $10,000.


6. An Exercise—Drafting a Complaint. A friend from law school has recently called you and referred a new client to you. As the client sits in your office, she describes what has recently happened to her:

“Two weeks ago I went to the Fifth Avenue and East 17th Department Store, Inc. and bought a new leather jacket. Last week I tried to return that jacket at the Department Store, Inc. in the bottom floor of my office building on Fifth Avenue and East 50th. After waiting in line at the customer service register, I gave the coat and my receipt to the man behind the register. He told me that they could only give me store credit instead of a full refund. Now, I knew he was wrong. I had returned things at that store before, and I knew that they give a full refund within 14 days if you provide the clothing and receipt. So, in the most polite way, I explained this to the guy behind the register. Pretty soon another guy, who turned out to be the manager of the store, jumped in and said that not only would I not receive the full refund, I was trying to return merchandise that I hadn’t even purchased. He accused me of trying to defraud the store. He said the jacket I was returning was a size 6, but the jacket listed on the receipt was a size 12. It was clear to me, and would have been to anyone else who was watching, that he said this because I was insisting on a full refund for the jacket.

Then, store security arrived and grabbed me and prevented me from leaving the area in front of the register. Through all of this, I continued to reason with the manager, trying to get him to understand that the receipt I had presented was the one given to me from the other Department Store, Inc. store. During this time, someone from the store must have called the police because, before I knew it, four officers arrived.

While the officers were arresting me, the manager told one of the police officers that I had created a fake receipt and was trying to return a coat that I had stolen. He also said that I had created the receipt from types of paper and ink that Department Store, Inc. does not use in making its receipts. I don’t even know what kinds of paper and ink they use, let alone any other kinds someone could use to make a fake receipt. But, of course, the police believed the manager and arrested me.


Now, the back entrance of that Department Store, Inc. store leads to the lobby of my office building. I had to suffer the indignity of being falsely detained and arrested in a store I frequent and of being marched in handcuffs and placed in a police car in front of my coworkers and boss as they were returning from their lunch break. On top of being completely humiliated, I’m sure that it negatively impacted my chances of getting the promotion I’m up for later this month.

I was told that I have a case both for false imprisonment against the store and for intentional infliction of emotional distress against the manager of the store. I’d like you to pursue both of these suits.”

To establish a cause of action to recover damages for false imprisonment, the plaintiff must show that:

(1) the defendant intended to confine the plaintiff;

(2) the plaintiff was conscious of the confinement;

(3) the plaintiff did not consent to the confinement; and

(4) the confinement was not otherwise privileged.

To establish a cause of action to recover damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, the plaintiff must show that:

(1) the defendant acted in an extreme and outrageous manner;

(2) the defendant intended to cause, or disregarded a substantial probability of causing, severe emotional distress;

(3) there is a causal connection between the defendant’s extreme and outrageous conduct and the plaintiff’s injury; and

(4) the plaintiff suffered severe emotional distress.

Draft a complaint for both causes of action requested by your client. A template complaint form will be made available to you.


7. An Exercise—Drafting an Answer. Assume that you now work for Department Store, Inc. Draft an answer to the complaint that you are given in class. A template answer form will be made available to you.

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