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Old November 26, 2012, 09:38 PM   #17
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Join Date: February 10, 2010
Posts: 720
Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer
So can you do it legally - that's the issue. If they try to leave what force can you use? That sort of thing, please.
Since Glenn mentioned the quote above, and others have mentioned other states then NM, I will share my view, and experience.

Originally Posted by
§ 15A‑404. Detention of offenders by private persons.

(a) No Arrest; Detention Permitted. – No private person may arrest another person except as provided in G.S. 15A‑405. A private person may detain another person as provided in this section.

(b) When Detention Permitted. – A private person may detain another person when he has probable cause to believe that the person detained has committed in his presence:

(1) A felony,

(2) A breach of the peace,

(3) A crime involving physical injury to another person, or

(4) A crime involving theft or destruction of property.

(c) Manner of Detention. – The detention must be in a reasonable manner considering the offense involved and the circumstances of the detention.

(d) Period of Detention. – The detention may be no longer than the time required for the earliest of the following:

(1) The determination that no offense has been committed.

(2) Surrender of the person detained to a law‑enforcement officer as provided in subsection (e).

(e) Surrender to Officer. – A private person who detains another must immediately notify a law‑enforcement officer and must, unless he releases the person earlier as required by subsection (d), surrender the person detained to the law‑enforcement officer. (1973, c. 1286, s. 1.)
First, as far as NC, there is no "arrest" allowed by statute, only detention. There IS a difference...

Secondly, the person who decides to detain another must have probable cause, not just in their eyes, but at the end of the cycle, in the eyes of the court.

Third, they have to notify law enforcement immediatly, which may be difficult if its a forceful detention.

Fourth, they can only hold someone a "reasonable time" until a law enforcement officer arrives. Which leads to the question what is a reasonable time? I dont ask what one of us here thinks, its up to the court since that is where it will be decided.

Fifth, when you detain someone, and take away certain freedoms, you can therefor be deemed responsible. Kind of a slipery slope.

Sixth, if the court later finds that there was no probable cause, then the person who detained another may be held responsible, both criminally and civily, for that action and any injuries from that.

Hence why I said earlier that its better to be a good witness unless your, or anothers life is threatened in an immediate fashion.
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