Bar Exam (US) Torts: Henshey’s Department Store had suffered a succession of thefts of merchandi...

Question

Henshey's Department Store had suffered a succession of thefts of merchandise over a period of months. From reports by employees and customers, Henshey's manager, Hana Lai, concluded that the losses were due, wholly or in large part, to the depredations of a female shoplifter, aged 30-40 years, about 5' 5" in height, with red hair and green eyes, who usually wore a suit. This information was passed on to all Henshey employees.

One day, Monica Bay entered the store to purchase underwear. Monica was 5' 5" in height, 37 years old, red-haired and green eyed, and dressed in a smartly tailored suit. She carried a large shopping bag. Hana noticed her as she picked up, examined and put down a number of panties and bras. After a while, she looked about tentatively, then started to walk out, swinging her bag. Hana intercepted her and, standing in front of her, politely asked Monica if she would accompany her to her office. When Monica asked for an explanation, Hana told her of the store's recent experience, and her consequent fear that she might be concealing pilfered merchandise in her bag. Flushing angrily, she replied, "Very well," and followed her to the office.

Once there, Hana began to question Monica quite intensively. After the questioning, Hana then asked Monica's permission to inspect the contents of her shopping bag. At first, Monica curtly refused and announced that she had enough of this nonsense. When she rose to go, Hana told her, "Listen, unless you let me look inside that bag, I'm going to call the police." Monica replied, "Very well," and handed her the bag. Hana inspected the contents of the bag thoroughly, but did not find any pilfered merchandise. Finally, after detaining Monica for thirty minutes, Hana gave her permission to leave.

If Monica asserts a claim for false imprisonment against Henshey's, she will most likely

AnswerChoose the correct answer.Choose all that apply. Correct Partially correct Incorrect Don't Know

  1. A
    Correct Answer
    prevail, because she was detained for an unreasonably long period of time
  2. B
    Correct Answer
    prevail, because Hana did not have reasonable grounds to suspect that Monica had committed a theft
  3. C
    Correct Answer
    not prevail, because under the circumstances Hana had reasonable grounds to suspect that Monica had committed a theft
  4. D
    Correct Answer
    not prevail, because Hana gave Monica permission to leave after conducting her investigation
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