The State of NSW v Riley – False Imprisonment

This morning I was writing an advice to solicitors with regards to a claim in damages against the police for false imprisonment and a subsequent malicious prosecution. This gave me cause to revisit the case of State of New South Wales v. Riley [2003] NSWCA 208, which according to JADE Barnet has 46 citations and is often referred to in cases where it is alleged police acted with malice or excessive force in the arrest of a person, and the plaintiff is seeking aggravated or exemplary damages. Most recently, it was referred to in State of New South Wales v Quirk [2012] NSWCA 216 and State of New South Wales v Talovic [2014] NSWCA 333 among others.

Importantly, the Court said at paragraph [141]:

Certainly, it is of the highest importance that police officers know and observe the limits and conditions for valid arrest. Certainly, the use of excessive force, particularly the over-tight application of handcuffs causing significant injury to the respondent, was a most serious matter.

If you wish to read the decision in full go to: New South Wales v. Riley [2003] NSWCA 208

One Comment

  1. Very interesting. The US has had a tragic series of cases over the past few years involving shooting deaths by (and of) police. Mental illness has played a role in some of these, but does not by itself justify the use of deadly force even when present. Police training in de-escalation techniques can be pivotal.


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