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Old August 10, 2010, 05:16 AM   #26
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A citizens arrest puts you on very thin ice legally. What are you going to do if he turns and walks away ? If there's no immediate serious threat to you , you have no right to shoot .
And Watson , bring your revolver !
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Old August 10, 2010, 08:37 AM   #27
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Three guys saw someone with a bicycle that had been stolen some time before, pointed a gun at the person when they were not immediately threatened, put cuffs on him, and roughed him up
If I read the article correctly, these are the allegations of the plaintiff. I have seen a longer version of this (can't find it at the moment) that said that police reports had a rather different version, which did not include handcuffs or a physical assault, but did include a naked man trying to hide a bicycle.

The part that is troublesome (and consistent in the different versions of the story that I have seen) is that the private citizens actually did engage in a pursuit of the BG. I personally wouldn't do so, not knowing if the person was armed (although at the end of the chase he seemed to lack cover garments) or had one or more pals in the neighborhood. It would be real easy to go around a corner and come face to face with a ball bat, a knife, or a gun in the hand of someone who does not practice good safety habits.

My reason for carrying a pistol is to protect the lives of myself, my family, and other innocents in my immediate vicinity. That's all - I am not committed to using it to protect property in the absence of a mortal threat, nor to using it to see criminals brought to trial. I can understand being hacked off at seeing your property taken, but being hacked off is not a good reason to use a gun or to put yourself in danger by pursuing a criminal. The police are trained and equipped for that - I am not.

We have been advised many times by LEOs on this forum that what they most want from us is good witness information. I will let them work as a team, using body armor and, when necessary, long guns, to apprehend BGs. They have my deep and everlasting gratitude for the work they do. A chubby old guy in a shirt and tie and bifocals does not have a place in any dustups that he can avoid.
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Old August 10, 2010, 08:57 AM   #28
Bartholomew Roberts
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Originally Posted by Kmar40
And if you have a civil defense attorney that takes 5 figures to defeat a pro se jailhouse defendant, your insurance company has an idiot for an adjuster.
First of all, you've misstated my secondary point. My point was that going to trial in a civil matter will cost you five figures easy - not that it would cost five figures to defeat a pro-se plaintiff filing from federal prison in most cases. You seem to have confused the two ideas.

The secondary point leads to the primary point - which is that I often see people here talking about "The jury will set me free" as Plan A. It shouldn't be Plan A. Relying on the jury for your freedom should be more like the last trench in a long line of defenses.

Unrelated to either point, I don't understand your reference to an insurance adjuster since it strikes me as unlikely that an insurance company is going to defend you against an intentional act.
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Old August 10, 2010, 06:44 PM   #29
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Only a really bad attorney would not ad a few counts that were not intentional torts. They want insurance money, not a personal judgment which would be easily bankrupted away by anyone at least as smart as O.J. (that's pretty much everyone).

Many states require insurers to defend their insureds against intentional court claims even if the insurer doesn't have to idemnify against judgments.
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Old August 10, 2010, 07:58 PM   #30
Glenn Dee
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My two cents according to my training.

A Citizens summary arrest is when a Citizen takes a person into custody for commiting a crime. And that Citizen holds that person until police can deliver him to police custody. The Citizen must then appear in court and swear out a criminal complaint against the person they detained. Based on their own information, testimony, and evidence. Security Guards do it all the time.
When the citizen holds a person against his or her will that person is under summary arrest. If the same person ramains by consent, or other reason ... such as stupidity there has been no arrest. The citizen who made the arrest does not represent the government, and is under no obligation to give the so-called Miranda warnings. Once the police have arrived, and taken the arrested person into custody they will have to advise him if there is any interrogation.

The big drawback is that Citizen making the arrest must be 100% correct. If the summary arrest is made based on incorrect information or a misunderstanding of law... That arrest becomes invalid. That leaves the Citizen who made the arrest subjest to answer for his own actions in a criminal, and or civil court.

The same citizen could pettition the courts for an arrest warrant based on the same information they would have made the summary arrest. Only after obtaining a warrant the arrest would have withstood judiciaL review, and be based upon probable cause.

There are several differences between a Citizen making a summary arrest, and a Police Officer doing the same. The biggest difference being indemnification.( not being held personally liable in civil court) In other words the police when they make a mistake are usually indemnified by the municipality, or state. Federal officers purchase tort insurance for this. Although this may have changed. One way I had it describe to me by a lawyer. All the average citizen has is his home, his savings, his investments, and his paycheck. These are what you risk loosing by making citizens arrests. The way he describes it... every police car is towing a, invisible trailer filled with lawyers and money. Always call the police. Let them handle things, thats what you pay taxes for.
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Old August 10, 2010, 08:55 PM   #31
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My two cents according to my training.

A Citizens summary arrest is when a Citizen takes a person into custody for commiting a crime.
Glenn has given a pretty good summary of the situation you might find yourself in and it seems applicable in quite a number of jurisdictions. The law where I live is different to that of the US in a number of details but the overall tenure is similar.

Under our law you can make a citizen's arrest if the crime carries a penalty of three years or more, or if the crime takes place between 9pm and 6am (don't ask me why). But, and it's a big one, if you are wrong, you are open to prosecution for wrongful arrest, and if you restrain a person from leaving the scene you may be prosecuted for holding someone against their will.

It's a lot to get right.
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Old August 11, 2010, 12:26 AM   #32
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Done it twice. I'd say your best bet is to be quick on the cell and be a great witness. I put myself in some pointless danger where a quick phone call with a "Suspect Present" (if you listen closely you'll hear patrol cars going to full throttle- I did) would have worked.
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Old August 11, 2010, 12:50 AM   #33
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Three guys saw someone with a bicycle that had been stolen some time before, pointed a gun at the person when they were not immediately threatened, put cuffs on him, and roughed him up in Florida, and all they face is a civil suit? They're lucky--so far, anyway. Not real smart, mind you, but lucky.

The character and background of their "catch" and what he may have done before this incident are completely irrelevant, in the eyes of the law.

I suggest that, had the gun gone off, we would not be reading about civil proceedings.

Mattter of fact, had the guy been someone who had obtained the stolen property from the burglar--they would really have some 'splainin' to do.
This exactly how people should respond to thieves...would be alot less crime that way
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Old August 11, 2010, 07:43 AM   #34
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Bounty Hunters are bonded. Unless you just stopped a murder or caught Osama and don't have a way to call the police, being a good witness is less likely to get you in a civil court.
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Old August 11, 2010, 10:48 AM   #35
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I am not going to shoot someone for a bicycle, a TV, or even my car or truck; and I’m not going to play Mall Ninja and citizen-arrest someone for any reason.

The only time I will shoot, kick, stab, punch, or give the finger to someone is to protect me or my family from physical harm.

I will not intervene to stop a robbery at the C-store unless there is the obvious threat of physical harm to me or another innocent person.

Property is replaceable, and at far less cost than defending myself in court.

The guys in the OP were playing cop, and what the hell were they doing with having handcuffs??? What kind of ordinary citizen has handcuffs?

Calling Gecko45, Calling Gecko45. Gecko, are you on the channel? Come back?
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Old August 11, 2010, 10:50 AM   #36
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This [pull a gun on someone when you are not immediately threatened, put cuffs on him, rough him up] [is] exactly how people should respond to thieves...would be alot less crime that way.
MonsterB, you have it backwards. Pull a gun, or do any of those other things, in response to a thief (except in Texas at night) and the only question is, how many crimes have you committed?

This is not the product of modern legislative action. The principles go way, way back--to before Columbus ever set sail.

In Florida, one may pull his gun if and only if you or a third person is in imminent danger of death or serous bodily harm, or to prevent certain serious crimes, if it is immediately necessary.

In some places, one may also pull a gun if it is necessary to apprehend a criminal--at the time the crime was committed, if the crime was sufficiently serious, and usuually, if you saw it committed. That's not true everywhere--be very careful.

These birds were very lucky indeed to have avoided criminal charges.

Of course, there's still the risk that the civil proceedings could trigger further investigation.

They were also very lucky in that they were not mistaken by armed citizens or law enforcement officers for people engaged in the commission of a serious forcible felony against someone else.

Yes, they were lucky, but they did not show themselves to be very bright.
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Old August 11, 2010, 10:53 PM   #37
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I have to say a new Bicycle would have been cheaper.

The article was pretty worthless in making a decision.

1. I would assume that if you decide to make a citizens arrest use of force laws apply.

2. You can only use the amount of force required to make the arrest.

I see where they put a knee in his back. If the guy complies with the command and gets on the ground and puts his hands behind his back. The knee was uneccessary.

As usual the newspaper article doesn't include any of that information. No information on resistance form the suspect.

The information needed is:

Did the suspect use force to prevent his arrest or attack his pursuers?

Have a nice day at the range

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Old August 11, 2010, 11:02 PM   #38
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Found any lawsuits by a badguy who got shot by homeowner or other citizen in self-defense? I've seen quite a few. I guess that means we should cower in the corner allowing the bad guys to have their way with us for fear they might (ooooooh aaaaaaah) call a lawyer.
Non sequitur.

Defending one's life may result in a lawsuit, but one's life isn't the sort of thing you can replace for a few hundred dollars at the bike store.

The idea that it's ill-advised to risk a lawsuit over a bicycle doesn't come close to implying that it's ill-advised to risk a lawsuit if the alternative is serious injury or death.
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
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Old August 12, 2010, 04:26 AM   #39
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Do bounty hunters operate under citizen arrest laws?
Nope technically they do not arrest you again. You are under their surety.
A bondsman or his agent can scoop you up, take you back to jail, and get off your bond at anytime. Whether you skipped your court date or not.

That also goes for any bond where you are out on someone elses surety not just commercial bonds.
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