Spears v. Albertson's, Inc., 1D02-3008.

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtHAWKES, J.
Citation848 So.2d 1176
PartiesKaren Lee SPEARS, Appellant, v. ALBERTSON'S, INC., a corporation, Appellee.
Docket NumberNo. 1D02-3008.,1D02-3008.
Decision Date20 May 2003

848 So.2d 1176

Karen Lee SPEARS, Appellant,
v.
ALBERTSON'S, INC., a corporation, Appellee

No. 1D02-3008.

District Court of Appeal of Florida, First District.

May 20, 2003.


848 So.2d 1177
Lester Makofka, Makofka and Makofka, Jacksonville, for Appellant

Michael S. O'Neal, Howell & O'Neal, Jacksonville, for Appellee.

HAWKES, J.

Appellant appeals a final order granting summary judgment on her claims for slander and false arrest. Because disputed issues of material fact remain as to both claims, we reverse.

The standard of review applicable to a grant of summary judgment is de novo. Volusia County v. Aberdeen at Ormond Beach, L.P., 760 So.2d 126, 130 (Fla. 2000). "[S]ummary judgment should not be granted unless the facts are so crystallized

848 So.2d 1178
that nothing remains but questions of law." Id. The moving party must show conclusively "the absence of any genuine issue of material fact and the court must draw every possible inference in favor of the party against whom a summary judgment is sought." Moore v. Morris, 475 So.2d 666, 668 (Fla.1985). If the evidence is conflicting, will permit different reasonable inferences, or tends to prove the issues, it should be submitted to the jury as a question of fact. See Aberdeen at Ormond Beach, L.P., 760 So.2d at 130

False Arrest

Store manager Craig Sopetto (Sopetto) and investigator Kim Hires (Hires), both Albertson's employees, accused Appellant, a long-time Albertson's employee, of stealing $600.00 by failing to make a cash register "drop." It is uncontested that Hires and Sopetto called Appellant to Sopetto's office, questioned her about the missing $600, and called the police. However, Hires testified she told Appellant "the door was open" and "she was in no way" being held, while at the same time testifying Appellant asked to call her husband, but that Hires told her the police officer would let her make a call after he arrived. Conversely, Appellant testified she asked to leave but Sopetto prevented her from doing so by blocking the door and saying "you're not going anywhere, we called the police."

The tort of "false imprisonment" or "false arrest" is the unlawful restraint of a person against his or her will, and the gist of the action is the unlawful detention of the person and the deprivation of his or her liberty. See Escambia County Sch. Bd. v. Bragg, 680 So.2d 571, 572 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996). To be civilly liable for false imprisonment, one must have personally and actively participated,...

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34 cases
  • Zavala v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. CIV.A.03-5309 JAG.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of New Jersey
    • 7 October 2005
    ...179 Ga.App. 712, 348 S.E.2d 50, 52 (1986); Alpha Gulf Coast, Inc. v. Jackson, 801 So.2d 709, 720 (Miss.2001); Spears v. Albertson's Inc., 848 So.2d 1176, 1177 (Fla.Dist.Ct.App.2003); Crown Cent. Petroleum Corp. v. Williams, 679 So.2d 651, 653 (Ala.1996) (citing ALA. CODE § 6-5-170 (1975)); ......
  • McDonough v. Mata, Case Number: 19-21986-CIV-MORENO
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Southern District of Florida
    • 28 September 2020
    ...the gist of the action is the unlawful detention of the person and the deprivation of his or her liberty." Spears v. Albertson's, Inc. , 848 So. 2d 1176, 1178 (Fla. 1st DCA 2003). To state a claim, the plaintiff 489 F.Supp.3d 1362 must establish four elements: "1) the unlawful detention and......
  • City of St. Petersburg v. Austrino, No. 2D02-5802.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 9 February 2005
    ...restraint of a person against that person's will. Johnson v. Weiner, 155 Fla. 169, 19 So.2d 699, 700 (1944); Spears v. Albertson's Inc., 848 So.2d 1176, 1178 (Fla. 1st DCA 2003). In a false arrest action, probable cause is an affirmative defense to be proven by the defendant. Bolanos v. Met......
  • Willingham v. City of Orlando, No. 5D05-736.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 12 May 2006
    ...same tort when the issue Page 50 involves an arrest and detention by a law enforcement officer. See, e.g., Spears v. Albertson's, Inc., 848 So.2d 1176 (Fla. 1st DCA 2003); Jackson, 665 So.2d at 340. In any event, the County and the City assert defensively that taking a person into custody p......
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1 books & journal articles
  • Physical torts
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Florida Causes of Action
    • 1 April 2022
    ...Source Rivers v. Dillards Department Store, Inc. , 698 So.2d 1328, 1331 (Fla. 1st DCA 1997). See Also 1. Spears v. Albertson’s, Inc ., 848 So.2d 1176, 1178 (Fla. 1st DCA 2003). 2. Escambia County School Board v. Bragg , 680 So.2d 571, 572 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996). 3. Rotte v. City of Jacksonvill......

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