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Kenneth Vercammen & Associates
A Law Office with Experienced Attorneys for Your New Jersey Legal Needs

2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison NJ 08817

Personal Injury and Criminal
on Weekends 732-261-4005

Princeton Area
68 South Main St.
Cranbury, NJ 08512
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Civil Model Jury Charge 3.20 C FALSE IMPRISONMENT (FALSE AR


It is the law of this State that a private citizen may lawfully arrest another person without a warrant if he/she knows that a crime has actually been committed and that there is probable or reasonable cause to suspect that the person he/she arrested did it.

When such an arrest without a warrant is made, the prisoner must be taken without unnecessary delay before the nearest available judge or other appropriate governmental official, a complaint promptly filed and a warrant issued based on the complaint.

The offense for which it was alleged that the defendant arrested the plaintiff was a crime for which a citizens arrest may be made. (Here discuss facts of arrest and detention).

So, in deciding whether plaintiff was falsely imprisoned, there are two decisions you have to make.

The first is whether plaintiff has proven, by the greater weight of the evidence, that defendant intentionally detained or restrained plaintiff in his/her personal liberty or freedom of movement by arresting him/her.CHARGE 3.20C Page 2 of 4

The second decision, assuming you find that defendant did intentionally restrain plaintiff by an arrest, involves defendants claim that he/she had a right to make the arrest and that the confinement was only for a reasonable period of time. Here, the defendant must prove this to you by the greater weight of the evidence. So you must decide, one, whether defendant had actual knowledge that the specific crime [insert type of crime] had been committed; two, if so, whether the defendant also had reasonable or probable cause to believe that plaintiff committed that crime; and three, if so, did defendant restrain plaintiff only for a reasonable period of time before bringing plaintiff before a judge or another appropriate governmental official.

Reasonable or probable cause would be that the facts and circumstances known to the defendant were such as would lead a reasonably cautious person to believe that the plaintiff had committed the crime. It must be more than mere conjecture or unfounded suspicion.

A reasonable period of time would be only that length of time that was necessary under the circumstances that a reasonable person would need to bring plaintiff to a judge or other appropriate governmental official in the circumstances facing defendant.CHARGE 3.20C Page 3 of 4

The reasonableness of this time would be affected by the availability of the judge or official, the location of the arrest, the time of day or night, the problem of confining the plaintiff using available means while reaching the judge or official and any other factors that you might think have a bearing on the amount of time. If the defendant imprisoned the plaintiff for an unreasonable time then, notwithstanding the original legality of the confinement, the unreasonable detention would constitute false arrest. On the other hand, if the arrest was proper and the confinement reasonable according to the rules I have explained, then you must find for the defendant. But if you find that there was a confinement, and you find that either there was no right to make the arrest or that the confinement was for an unreasonable period of time, then you must find for plaintiff.

[go on to Damages (False Imprisonment (False Arrest)), Charge 8.47C]


A citizen has the right to arrest without a warrant where it appears that a crime had actually been committed, and that there was probable or reasonable cause to fairly suspect the person arrested to be guilty.Brown v. State, 62N.J.L. 666 (E. & A. 1889),affirmed175U.S. 172;Reuck v. McGregor, 32N.J.L. 70 (Sup. Ct. 1866). Although New Jersey Law does not categorize crimes as felonies, for the purpose of arrest law a common law felony corresponds to a crime for which a person may be incarcerated for more than one year in a State prison.CHARGE 3.20C Page 4 of 4

To supplement the citizens common law right of arrest, the Legislature has granted additional authority to the individual to make warrantless arrests where a disorderly persons offense has been committed in his/her presence.N.J.S.A. 2A:169-3 provides:

Whenever an offense is committed in his/her presence any constable or police officer shall, and any other persons may, apprehend without warrant or process any disorderly person, and take him/her before any magistrate of the county where apprehended.

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Since 1985, KENNETH VERCAMMEN has worked as a personal injury attorney, working for injury victims and their families. By taking a hard-hitting, aggressive approach toward the insurance companies, KENNETH VERCAMMEN and our co-counsel have consistently obtained outstanding results for many injured clients over the years I am proud to have worked on cases in various capacities, small and large. While obviously prior results cannot guarantee the outcome of future cases, I can guarantee that you case will receive the same degree of dedication and hard work that went into each of these prior cases.

In direct contrast to the hard-hitting approach we take toward the insurance companies is the soft approach we take toward our clients. I am proud of my compassionate staff as I am of the outstanding financial results they have achieved. For many years, I have watched them treat our clients with patience, dignity and respect. I would have it no other way.

Many years ago, I attended a seminar sponsored by the American Bar Association on Law Practice Management. This was to help insure that each of our clients is always treated like a person -- not a file! We recognize that you are innocent victims and that you have placed your trust in us. Please understand that we understand what you are going through. Feel comforted that we are here to help you.

If you retain KENNETH VERCAMMEN to represent you, we will give you the same advice we give each of our clients -- concentrate on your life, you family and your health. We will take care of everything else. Leave all of the work and worry about your legal rights to us. Trust us. Believe in us. Have faith in us as your attorneys. Understand that we will always to do what we believe is best for you and your case. Helping you is our job. In fact, it is our only job -- guiding injury victims like you through one of the most difficult times of your lives, with care and concern -- while fighting aggressively to the limits of the law to obtain compensation and justice for each of you!

Print our Personal Injury Questionnaire on our Website, Fill it out and Fax back, so we can determine if we can help you obtain an injury settlement. We would welcome an opportunity to prove to you what we have proven to thousands of injured clients -- that you can feel comfortable and secure in the fact that KENNETH VERCAMMEN - Trial Attorney We Fight To Win.

When you have been injured in an accident or collision, you are worried about who is going to pay your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. The last thing you want is to be taken advantage of by an insurance company. If you dont protect your rights, you may not be able to make a claim.

Insurance companies have attorneys and adjusters whose goal is to pay you as little as they can. You need a New Jersey personal injury lawyer to fight for you. I am dedicated to helping your recover as much money as possible under the law.

You need an attorney who will work hard to protect your rights, maximize your insurance settlement and minimize the hassles of dealing with the insurance companies. You need an experienced and aggressive New Jersey trial lawyer with PROVEN RESULTS who will fight for you. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer can make the difference between getting what you deserve and getting nothing.

Without the threat of a lawyer who is willing to go to trial and seek a big jury verdict, why would an insurance company pay you what your claim is really worth? Lawsuits can be expensive, and many people do not have the money to pursue their claim. In every case, I advance all costs associated with pursuing your case and I do not ask you for a penny until we recover from the other side.

I am an experienced aggressive trial lawyer and a 3rd degree Black Belt. I am not afraid to take your case to trial if that is what it takes to maximize the amount of money your recover for your personal injury. I offer one-on-one service, and I will not hand your case off to an inexperienced lawyer or a paralegal.

Reduce the stress of making a claim.

Personal injury accidents can turn your life upside down. Making a personal injury claim can be difficult and time consuming. Once I take your case, you can stop worrying about dealing with the insurance companies and focus on recovering from your injuries. I take care of all of the paperwork, phone calls, and negotiations, so you can get on with your life.

p.s. For those clients who are afraid or reluctant to go to Court, KENNETH VERCAMMEN also offers a special -- For Settlement Only -- program. This means that if we are unable to settle with the insurance company, we will not go any further -- unless you want us to. You have my personal assurance that there will be absolutely no pressure and no obligation.

We handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis.


Call our office to schedule a "confidential" appointment 732-572-0500

Kenneth A. Vercammen is the Managing Attorney at Kenneth Vercammen & Associates in Edison, NJ. He is a New Jersey trial attorney has devoted a substantial portion of his professional time to the preparation and trial of litigated matters. He has appeared in Courts throughout New Jersey each week on personal injury matters, Criminal /Municipal Court trials, and contested Probate hearings.

Mr. Vercammen has published over 125 legal articles in national and New Jersey publications on criminal, elder law, probate and litigation topics. He is a highly regarded lecturer on litigation issues for the American Bar Association, NJ ICLE, New Jersey State Bar Association and Middlesex County Bar Association. His articles have been published in noted publications included New Jersey Law Journal, ABA Law Practice Management Magazine, and New Jersey Lawyer. He is the Editor in Chief of the American Bar Association Tort and Insurance Committee Newsletter.

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