Defining "Confinement" | Samantha Bates | April 25, 2017


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Defining "Confinement"

Original Creator: Jonathan Zittrain Current Version: Samantha Bates Show/Hide
  1. 1 Show/Hide More Shen v. Leo A. Daly Co.--"The Confined-to-Taiwan Case"
    Original Creator: Jonathan Zittrain Current Version: Samantha Bates
    Should we recognize false imprisonment in situations where the boundaries of plaintiff’s ‘confinement’ extend far beyond a single room (for example, if they extend to the boundaries of an entire country)?
    Defendant refused to pay taxes assessed by the Taiwanese government. As the designated “responsible person” for the defendant's Taiwanese business, plaintiff was directly liable for the taxes. Plaintiff asked the defendant to pay the taxes owed; defendant refused. The country of Taiwan forbade the plaintiff from leaving the country until the tax controversy was resolved. The plaintiff sued the defendant for false imprisonment, among other theories of liability.
  2. 2 Show/Hide More Peterson v. Sorlien--"The Unsuccessfully Deprogrammed Daughter"
    Original Creator: Jonathan Zittrain Current Version: Samantha Bates
    Should we regard individuals as “falsely imprisoned” when they are provided with many opportunities to escape?
    Plaintiff joined a cult while in college. As a result, her grades fell, she became increasingly alienated from her family, and she sold her car and took on a part-time job to increase her payments to the cult. Afraid for their daughter, the plaintiff’s parents took her to the house of a self-styled professional deprogrammer. For two days, the plaintiff violently resisted the deprogramming and was forcibly confined. However, over the next thirteen days, plaintiff’s demeanor changed considerably; she became “friendly and vivacious”. Subsequently, plaintiff was no longer confined by force and was free to participate in outdoor activities, take solitary walks, and even fly to another city with another former cult member who had shared her experiences in the former week. At the end of the deprogramming period, plaintiff refused to sign a waiver releasing her parents from liability for the past weeks’ actions, and returned to the cult and her fiance—who was also a member.

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April 25, 2017

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Samantha Bates

Research Associate

Harvard Law School, Berkman Center

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