October 27, 2013

Benkowski v. Arlan's Dept. Store - 12 Mich.App. 88, 162 N.W.2d 347 (1968) - Court of Appeals of Michigan

FACTS: Plaintiff went shopping in a store.  She was leaving when the security guard called her to stop b/c someone said she had 3 pieces of costume jewelry in her purse.  She was 30 ft away and returned.  He asked her to empty her purse which she did and he found nothing and let her go.

HISTORY: Jury verdict for false arrest and slander.

ISSUE: Did the store guard have the right to stop her?

HOLDING: Yes

RATIONALE:

- ALI "recognizes a privilege in favor of a merchant to detain for reasonable investigation a person whom he reasonably believes to have taken chattle unlawfully." 

- shoplifting is such a problem it's OK to recognize that privilege


DISPOSITION: Reversed and remanded for new trial in accordance w/ this opinion.