Franklin, TN asked in Constitutional Law for Tennessee

Q: What is the law for citizens' arrest of an official who has repeatedly violated the Constitution?

Especially if the violation results in extended social isolation. This would discriminate against a person with a disability (in this case mental illness), provoking to harm by suicide, self-mutilation, drug overdose, or violence. What is the law here?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Brentwood, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: The law regarding citizens' arrest is located in Tenn. Code Ann. 40-7-109. Arrest by private person Grounds.

(a) A private person may arrest another:

(1) For a public offense committed in the arresting person's presence;

(2) When the person arrested has committed a felony, although not in the arresting person's presence; or

(3) When a felony has been committed, and the arresting person has reasonable cause to believe that the person arrested committed the felony.

(b) A private person who makes an arrest of another pursuant to the provisions of §§ 40-7-109 40-7-115 shall receive no arrest fee or compensation for the arrest.

What you are describing does not seem to fall within the scope of the statute. You should be aware that taking unauthorized action to detain someone could comprise the tort of false imprisonment under Tennessee law. False imprisonment is the intentional restraint or detention of another without just cause under Tennessee law.

If you have additional questions, I recommend you consult with an attorney. Good luck.

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