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Thread: Citizen's Arrest

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    Regular Member HighFlyingA380's Avatar
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    Citizen's Arrest

    So I couldn't find anything in the MO statutes regarding citizen's arrest, and searches brought up nothing with concrete citations relating to MO. Can anybody help me out? Thanks.
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  2. #2
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    http://www.moga.mo.gov/homestatsearch.asp

    Arrest defined 544.180

    563.051 Private persons use of force in making arrest

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    In Missouri, a citizen does not make an 'arrest' only LE can 'arrest' unless directed to 'arrest' on the order of a certified peace officer.

    563.051. Private person's use of force in making an arrest.
    1. A private person who has been directed by a person he reasonably believes to be a law enforcement officer to assist such officer to effect an arrest....
    544.180. Arrest - An arrest is made by an actual restraint of the person of the defendant, or by his submission to the custody of the officer, under authority of a warrant or otherwise. The officer must inform the defendant by what authority he acts, and must also show the warrant if required.
    We 'kind of sort of' can make a 'citizen's detainment' until the cops show up. We can be held liable in civil court for not doing 'it' the right way, or more accurately, we do not have qualified immunity. The reality is that it will be difficult to be prosecuted even in a civil trial for your good faith actions, but stranger things have happened.

    Always remember: 'No good deed shall go unpunished.'

    As for me, a non-violent crime that I happen to witness in progress requires me to be the best witness I can be. If their is violence, well, I hope my training and common sense do not fail me at a most inopportune moment.....and my recording device batteries do not fail.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    563.051.2. A private person acting on his own account may, subject to the limitations of subsection 3, use physical force to effect arrest or prevent escape only when and to the extent such is immediately necessary to effect the arrest, or to prevent escape from custody, of a person whom he reasonably believes to have committed a crime and who in fact has committed such crime.

    3. A private person in effecting an arrest or in preventing escape from custody is justified in using deadly force only
    (1) When such is authorized under other sections of this chapter; or
    (2) When he reasonably believes such to be authorized under the circumstances and he is directed or authorized by a law enforcement officer to use deadly force; or
    (3) When he reasonably believes such use of deadly force is immediately necessary to effect the arrest of a person who at that time and in his presence
    (a) Committed or attempted to commit a class A felony or murder; or

    (b) Is attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon.

    And from State V. Galazin
    "A private citizen may arrest on a showing of the commission of a felony and reasonable grounds to suspect the arrested party, to prevent an affray or breach of the peace, and for a misdemeanor if authorized by statute."
    At this time (to my knowledge) there is no longer statutory authorization for a private citizen to arrest another citizen for committing a misdemeanor.

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    Regular Member cshoff's Avatar
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    As has been pointed out above, a private citizen MAY make an arrest on his own account, but only under the provisions of RSMO 563.051.2 & 563.051.3. Keep in mind that there is a LOT of potential liability involved in making an arrest and, unlike a police officer who enjoys certain protections in the event that a particular arrest turns out to not be justified, a private citizen will be held solely and PERSONALLY liable for any actions he/she takes.

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    so you want to make an arrest or did someone try it on you?

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    Regular Member HighFlyingA380's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VinnAY View Post
    so you want to make an arrest or did someone try it on you?
    I don't want to have to, but I just want to be prepared with proper knowledge of the law, just in case.
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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    RSMo 563 does not 'give you' the authority to 'arrest' anyone. RSMo 563 is the 'Defense of Justification' for the use of force up to the use of lethal force statute. Only a cop can 'arrest'. Or, we can if directed to do so by a cop.

    We could be subject to criminal sanctions if we refuse to 'come to the aid of the civil power' if a cop asks/directs us to aid him in the performance of his duties, in Missouri. It is a misdemeanor offense.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Regular Member cshoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    RSMo 563 does not 'give you' the authority to 'arrest' anyone. RSMo 563 is the 'Defense of Justification' for the use of force up to the use of lethal force statute. Only a cop can 'arrest'. Or, we can if directed to do so by a cop.
    You are trying to argue semantics here. As has been pointed out above, under RSMO 563.051.2, a private person MAY use physical force to effect an arrest on his own account (ie: without direction from a LEO) under certain conditions:

    563.031.2. A private person acting on his own account may, subject to the limitations of subsection 3, use physical force to effect arrest or prevent escape only when and to the extent such is immediately necessary to effect the arrest, or to prevent escape from custody, of a person whom he reasonably believes to have committed a crime and who in fact has committed such crime.
    You cannot "effect an arrest" without actually "making an arrest". RSMO 563.031.2 is the statute that provides justification by which the private person may use such force. Citizens arrests happen quite regularly in Missouri and in other states around the country.

    We could be subject to criminal sanctions if we refuse to 'come to the aid of the civil power' if a cop asks/directs us to aid him in the performance of his duties, in Missouri. It is a misdemeanor offense.
    That is incorrect. A private citizen is under no obligation to assist an officer who asks or orders the citizen to assist. While your failure to assist could possibly lead to CIVIL liability, it would not be a criminal offense.
    Last edited by cshoff; 05-21-2012 at 10:43 AM.

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    Isn't there a section in that same private person's statute that says "...and the person must have committed the crime"? Where's Bruce on that one because it leaves a foul taste in my mouth with our justice system today.

    Why? Because you could have witnessed the person committing the crime and if a jury can be swayed into saying that they did not then charges of assault could be spun in your direction. It's a very dangerous aspect to use the words "must have" in that particular context.

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    I would never do a citizens arrest. We live in a world where you perform CPR to try and save someone and break their rib in the process, they turn around and sue you.

    Look out for yourself. If you feel your life is threatened take action. If not, the fellow citizen should of exercised their 2A right. Their fault for not doing so as bad as it sounds (my view only). After all remember they can call the cops and they will be there in 10 minutes...
    Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.

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    Regular Member HighFlyingA380's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kylemoul View Post
    I would never do a citizens arrest. We live in a world where you perform CPR to try and save someone and break their rib in the process, they turn around and sue you.

    Look out for yourself. If you feel your life is threatened take action. If not, the fellow citizen should of exercised their 2A right. Their fault for not doing so as bad as it sounds (my view only). After all remember they can call the cops and they will be there in 10 minutes...
    I agree with your views. I'm not trying to be a hero and arrest somebody for random stuff I see. I asked and envisioned it to be related to what might happen after somebody attacks me, or I find them stealing my car in breaking into my house. My focus was on if they try to flee, before or after shots are fired, what would I be legally allowed to do in order to keep them until the boys in blue show.
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    Regular Member cshoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HighFlyingA380 View Post
    I agree with your views. I'm not trying to be a hero and arrest somebody for random stuff I see. I asked and envisioned it to be related to what might happen after somebody attacks me, or I find them stealing my car in breaking into my house. My focus was on if they try to flee, before or after shots are fired, what would I be legally allowed to do in order to keep them until the boys in blue show.
    Short of holding them at gunpoint while they voluntarily comply, what could you really do anyway (putting all of the laws aside for the moment)? The absolute LAST thing the armed citizen should ever do is put themselves in close physical proximity to a known threat. That means no attempting to handcuff the BG, no attempting to "tie up" the BG, and no attempting to "physically restrain" the BG unless it is absolutely, positively the only means of defending yourself that you have available. If the BG has broken off his/her attack for whatever reason, be a good witness and let them go if they choose to flee. Cops get paid to track BG's down, you don't.

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    Regular Member Boba Fett's Avatar
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    Which is why there are a pair of well-worn handcuffs lying on a shelf collecting dust at my house. lol I stopped carrying them about 6 months ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boba Fett View Post
    Which is why there are a pair of well-worn handcuffs lying on a shelf collecting dust at my house. lol I stopped carrying them about 6 months ago.
    Use them on the wife
    Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.

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    Regular Member Boba Fett's Avatar
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    ^^^ I lol'd pretty hard man.

    Fortunately I'm not married.

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    Just a couple of fyi's:
    Missouri enacted a good samaritan law (RSMo 527.027) in which persons licensed and trained in emergency care may render aid to any person without risk of civil penalties song long as their training is recognized as bonafied. They may also render aid to a minor child at the scene of an emergency prior to the consent of the parents.
    For the unlicensed lay person, they may also render aid without risk of civil penalty so long as they have received bonafied training and do not act outside that scope. In no case are civil penalties excused for neglegence, or willful acts to cause harm.

    The application of handcuffs/restraints is an application of lethal force. Unless you have received legitimate training from a recognized training facility, handcuffs could land a person in hot water even if they had legitimate cause to arrest.

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shooter64738 View Post
    <snip> The application of handcuffs/restraints is an application of lethal force. Unless you have received legitimate training from a recognized training facility, handcuffs could land a person in hot water even if they had legitimate cause to arrest.
    Not quit correct.

    http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C500-599/5630000041.HTM

    Pay particular attention to 563.041.3.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Not quit correct.

    http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C500-599/5630000041.HTM

    Pay particular attention to 563.041.3.
    I see your point, but there is a legal difference between 'restraining' a person and placing a person in 'restraints'. Deadly force is any force that the actor knows or should know to cause a significant risk of serious physical injury or death. Metallic handcuffs in particular are known to cause serious physical injury if applied improperly, or not properly monitored. So when a person is placed in restraints (not necessarily just restrained) it can be an application of lethal force. Simply holding someone down or restraining their body is not the same as placing them in a restraining device.

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    I can only surmise that the proper use of any restraint device was not a concern of the legislature....or the cops for that matter. So, I won't concern myself with the proper use of any restraint device either.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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