Summary of Enright v. Groves, CO Ct of App. 1977
Facts: After responding to a dog running without a leash, Officer Groves approached Mr. Enright. She asked if she could help him to which Groves demanded her driver’s license. Mr. Enright offered her name and address. Groves ordered her to furnish her driver’s license or go to jail. When she replied “Isn’t this ridiculous?" Groves grabbed her arm and placed her under arrest. She was booked for violation of the dog leash ordinance and subsequently convicted for the same.
Issue: Whether the arrest and imprisonment was made lawfully or not?
Holding: No, it was false arrest false imprisonment.
Procedure: Trial ct returned verdict for Mr. Enright. Affirmed
Rule: False arrest arises when one is taken into custody by a person who claims but does not have proper legal authority. Torts § 11 (4th) Conviction for the crime is a complete defense to a subsequent claim of false arrest.
Ct. Rationale: The officer did not arrest the plaintiff for the dog leash violation, he requested her to produce her license or go to jail. Lacking any legal authority to arrest for no producing a driver’s license, any refusal to comply was not an offense charged and any arrest therefrom would be false arrest.
P. A. : The arrest and detention were false because the officer lacked legal authority to do so.
D. A. : The arrest and conviction for the dog violation should provide a probable cause showing that the arrested person’s identification was required as an administrative procedure.
Sina qua non: Without which not. An indispensable condition.