false imprisonment, complete restraint upon a person's liberty of movement without legal justification. Actual physical contact is not necessary; a show of authority or a threat of force is sufficient. The person falsely imprisoned may sue the offender for damages. The suit would be brought against officials improperly issuing warrants for arrest and against private persons for any illegal total restraint of liberty. Release from such illegal restraint may be had through a habeas corpus proceeding. See kidnapping.
More on false imprisonment from Fact Monster:
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Crime and Law Enforcement