In the Interest of M.G. - Superior Court - January 30, 2007
The court upheld the delinquency adjudiction of a juvenile accused of false imprisonment, where he followed his cousin into her bedroom, shut and locked the door, and stood between her and the door during an incident which lasted "at most, two minutes."
"In determining the magnitude of the restraint necessary for false imprisonment, this Court has recognized that false imprisonment covers restraints which are less serious than those necessary for the offenses of kidnapping [18 Pa. C.S. 2901(a)] and unlawful restraint [18 Pa. C.S. 2902(a)].
"In determining whether the restraint at issue interfered with [the victim's] liberty 'substantially,' we give the word 'substantially' its plain meaning....Thus, we determine the Legislature intended false imprisonment to cover restraints where an individual's liberty is interfered with in an ample or considerable manner."
It did not matter that the restraint took place in the victim's own bedroom. "Whether in her own home or elsewhere, Appellant restrained [the victim] and kept her in an area where she did not wish to remain. Removing [a victim] from her home or luring her to an unfamiliar place are simply not elements required for false imprisonment."
"Making threats, intimidating and/or using physical force are not stated elements of false imprisonment, although they may be the tool used by an offender in 'restraining another unlawfully.'"