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Experimentalist
03-29-2009, 10:00 AM
I read this quote on another thread:

I think a fun response at a show where someone is trying to entrap you is to threaten to perform a citizen's arrest for a felony.

I'd love to have Iggy's crew explain to a magistrate that they were just trolling.

-Gene

I realize Gene was using humor. Still, I wondered how one would best conduct a Citizens arrest, should it be necessary.

I found this source on the subject: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Citizen%27s-Arrest

Seems like solid advice. Do our experts have anything to add?

CCWFacts
03-29-2009, 10:13 AM
Buried in the warnings section, it says:

By making a citizen's arrest, you're exposing yourself to possible lawsuits or criminal charges (e.g. impersonating police, false imprisonment, kidnapping, or wrongful arrest) if the wrong person is apprehended or if you violate a suspect's civil rights. This risk varies considerably from country to country, but in the U.S. in particular, a citizen's arrest is a legal minefield, and dealing with a suspect's lawyers is often more dangerous than apprehending the suspect.

Yeah, but that should have been right at the top. The liability issues on a citizens arrest are monumental. Police are able to do their jobs because they have extremely broad immunity from liability for their official actions; we non-LEOs have none of these. Plus our judicial system is likely to be lenient with LEOs and extra-strict with non-LEOs who get involved in such things. It's a really bad idea to do it unless there's some extraordinary circumstance.

That said, such circumstances do come up - I am extremely opposed to citizens arrests but I participated in restraining and arresting a suspect earlier this year, as a citizen's arrest. It was one of those extraordinary circumstances, where it had to be done.

tyrist
03-29-2009, 11:01 AM
There is really no citizens arrest for a felony...since a LEO can make a felony arrest based on witness statements. A citizens arrest (aka Private person's arrest) is only necessary for misdemeanors not committed in the presence of an Officer.

Also, if you improperly (read as illegally) make a citizens arrest you can be held criminally liable as well as civilly liable.

Mark in Eureka
03-29-2009, 12:47 PM
As a citizen I can make an arrest for a felony. What do you think you are doing when you hold someone at gun point who broke into your house.

Stormfeather
03-29-2009, 1:06 PM
As a citizen I can make an arrest for a felony. What do you think you are doing when you hold someone at gun point who broke into your house.

Hopefully convincing them of the error of their ways. . . . .

Tallship
03-29-2009, 2:26 PM
Section 837 of the California Penal Code:

837. A private person may arrest another:
1. For a public offense committed or attempted in his presence.
2. When the person arrested has committed a felony, although not
in his presence.
3. When a felony has been in fact committed, and he has reasonable
cause for believing the person arrested to have committed it.

BigDogatPlay
03-29-2009, 3:15 PM
How to Citizens Arrest:...

** Call a LEO to the scene.
** Tell the LEO(s) exactly what happened.
** Tell the LEO(s) you will sign a CA.
** When prompted by the LEO(s) tell the person you want to arrest that they "are under arrest for XXX".
** Sign paperwork and be prepared to testify down the road.

At that point the LEO essentially has to take the arrest. What they do with the arrestee after the fact is up to them... e.g. released with a citation under 849 et seq. for misdemeanors.

ETA: If you are in fact attempting to CA at a gun show for being solicited to make some type of illegal transaction, if the subject is a trolling LEO or an informant they are going to out themselves at some point and claim that they were working an investigation. At that point it would be over, they pretty much can't be arrested for doing their job.... even if their job is to try and trick you into doing something stupid.

SVT-40
03-29-2009, 3:53 PM
How to Citizens Arrest:...

** Call a LEO to the scene.
** Tell the LEO(s) exactly what happened.
** Tell the LEO(s) you will sign a CA.
** When prompted by the LEO(s) tell the person you want to arrest that they "are under arrest for XXX".
** Sign paperwork and be prepared to testify down the road.

At that point the LEO essentially has to take the arrest. What they do with the arrestee after the fact is up to them... e.g. released with a citation under 849 et seq. for misdemeanors.

ETA: If you are in fact attempting to CA at a gun show for being solicited to make some type of illegal transaction, if the subject is a trolling LEO or an informant they are going to out themselves at some point and claim that they were working an investigation. At that point it would be over, they pretty much can't be arrested for doing their job.... even if their job is to try and trick you into doing something stupid.

Actually LEO's no longer have to accept every 837PC arrest. If the officer believes the facts do not support the allegation that a crime occurred he is under no obligation to accept the arrest.

In the past every 837PC arrest had to be accepted. This is no longer the case.

r08ert209cali
03-29-2009, 4:08 PM
I used to make c/a s all the time when I worked loss prevention at safeway and k-mart. Never had to go to court everyone plead out at the last minute. I remember having to write detailed reports of the incident so when you got sued you could have something to fall back on as we where poping 2-5 people stealing everyday. All for $9 an hour.

The Nomadd
03-29-2009, 5:36 PM
How to Citizens Arrest:...

** Call a LEO to the scene.
** Tell the LEO(s) exactly what happened.
** Tell the LEO(s) you will sign a CA.
** When prompted by the LEO(s) tell the person you want to arrest that they "are under arrest for XXX".
** Sign paperwork and be prepared to testify down the road.

At that point the LEO essentially has to take the arrest. What they do with the arrestee after the fact is up to them... e.g. released with a citation under 849 et seq. for misdemeanors.

ETA: If you are in fact attempting to CA at a gun show for being solicited to make some type of illegal transaction, if the subject is a trolling LEO or an informant they are going to out themselves at some point and claim that they were working an investigation. At that point it would be over, they pretty much can't be arrested for doing their job.... even if their job is to try and trick you into doing something stupid.

Okay, this is just my take, but being pro law enforcement and all, I would NOT feel bad in the least, if I outed one of Iggy's crew. As I understand it, he and his ilk are total scumbags, who try to hassle law-abiding guns owners at shows, by completely abusing their authority. I would consider it my civic duty, keeping them in line.

WokMaster1
03-29-2009, 7:30 PM
Hopefully convincing them of the error of their ways. . . . .

advise him that poker night is Wednesday, not Friday.:p

Piper
03-29-2009, 7:49 PM
Truthfully, unless directed by a LEO to make the arrest, I wouldn't do it except under the most extreme circumstances.

The only real circumstance I can see is if the criminal committed a violent felony and letting him go would endanger others. If he's in your house, and he doesn't run away, he's there to hurt you and you have the right to stop him. If that means disrupting his central nervous system, so be it.

ad6mj
03-29-2009, 7:55 PM
As a citizen I can make an arrest for a felony. What do you think you are doing when you hold someone at gun point who broke into your house.

Wondering why you hesitated to double tap CM?

N6ATF
03-29-2009, 9:56 PM
Get the bastards on tape soliciting a felony... also have a wireless transmitter going to a centrally located or near-enough-by receiver, being monitored by a friendly retired cop who will come to assist in the CA (or advise against it if the solicitation was too vague to be evidence). Don't give them a chance to weasel out of it by flashing their ID or badge. Get them in cuffs ASAP and let the cop working the show discover them on the pat-down after he's heard the tape and has probable cause to accept the arrest. Then he can unarrest after a thorough spectacle and outing.

Mulay El Raisuli
03-30-2009, 6:44 AM
Section 837 of the California Penal Code:

837. A private person may arrest another:
1. For a public offense committed or attempted in his presence.
2. When the person arrested has committed a felony, although not
in his presence.
3. When a felony has been in fact committed, and he has reasonable
cause for believing the person arrested to have committed it.


Adding to this; when I became a security guard (30 years ago) the class I took was taught by a guy who was both a SGT in the SDPD & a lawyer. He said that private persons had the exact same powers to arrest as a cop, with the exception that cops had immunity from suits if a crime had not actually occurred. Private persons had it ONLY if a crime had actually occurred. So, if the scary-looking black guy you've stopped from forcing the cute little blond girl into a van is actually her step-dad dealing with his fit-throwing child, you are in the deepest of doo-doo, while a cop couldn't be sued. Of course, that was a long time ago. Laws have changed. LVT-40 points one change. There are no doubt others.

Still, the legal philosophy that cops & citizens have the same powers to arrest is a good one. Very much in keeping with Sir Robert Peel's comment that while cops dedicate all their time to the task, we all have the duty to enforce the law.

The Raisuli

SVT-40
03-30-2009, 8:01 AM
Adding to this; when I became a security guard (30 years ago) the class I took was taught by a guy who was both a SGT in the SDPD & a lawyer. He said that private persons had the exact same powers to arrest as a cop, with the exception that cops had immunity from suits if a crime had not actually occurred. Private persons had it ONLY if a crime had actually occurred. So, if the scary-looking black guy you've stopped from forcing the cute little blond girl into a van is actually her step-dad dealing with his fit-throwing child, you are in the deepest of doo-doo, while a cop couldn't be sued. Of course, that was a long time ago. Laws have changed. LVT-40 points one change. There are no doubt others.

Still, the legal philosophy that cops & citizens have the same powers to arrest is a good one. Very much in keeping with Sir Robert Peel's comment that while cops dedicate all their time to the task, we all have the duty to enforce the law.

The Raisuli

LEO's have much broader powers of arrest than "citizens". Here is 836 PC which gives sworn LEO's their arrest authority. Much broader than the authority given citizens under 837 PC.

836. (a) A peace officer may arrest a person in obedience to a
warrant, or, pursuant to the authority granted to him or her by
Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2,
without a warrant, may arrest a person whenever any of the following
circumstances occur:
(1) The officer has probable cause to believe that the person to
be arrested has committed a public offense in the officer's presence.

(2) The person arrested has committed a felony, although not in
the officer's presence.
(3) The officer has probable cause to believe that the person to
be arrested has committed a felony, whether or not a felony, in fact,
has been committed.
(b) Any time a peace officer is called out on a domestic violence
call, it shall be mandatory that the officer make a good faith effort
to inform the victim of his or her right to make a citizen's arrest.
This information shall include advising the victim how to safely
execute the arrest.
(c) (1) When a peace officer is responding to a call alleging a
violation of a domestic violence protective or restraining order
issued under Section 527.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the Family
Code, Section 136.2, 646.91, or paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of
Section 1203.097 of this code, Section 213.5 or 15657.03 of the
Welfare and Institutions Code, or of a domestic violence protective
or restraining order issued by the court of another state, tribe, or
territory and the peace officer has probable cause to believe that
the person against whom the order is issued has notice of the order
and has committed an act in violation of the order, the officer
shall, consistent with subdivision (b) of Section 13701, make a
lawful arrest of the person without a warrant and take that person
into custody whether or not the violation occurred in the presence of
the arresting officer. The officer shall, as soon as possible after
the arrest, confirm with the appropriate authorities or the Domestic
Violence Protection Order Registry maintained pursuant to Section
6380 of the Family Code that a true copy of the protective order has
been registered, unless the victim provides the officer with a copy
of the protective order.
(2) The person against whom a protective order has been issued
shall be deemed to have notice of the order if the victim presents to
the officer proof of service of the order, the officer confirms with
the appropriate authorities that a true copy of the proof of service
is on file, or the person against whom the protective order was
issued was present at the protective order hearing or was informed by
a peace officer of the contents of the protective order.
(3) In situations where mutual protective orders have been issued
under Division 10 (commencing with Section 6200) of the Family Code,
liability for arrest under this subdivision applies only to those
persons who are reasonably believed to have been the primary
aggressor. In those situations, prior to making an arrest under this
subdivision, the peace officer shall make reasonable efforts to
identify, and may arrest, the primary aggressor involved in the
incident. The primary aggressor is the person determined to be the
most significant, rather than the first, aggressor. In identifying
the primary aggressor, an officer shall consider (A) the intent of
the law to protect victims of domestic violence from continuing
abuse, (B) the threats creating fear of physical injury, (C) the
history of domestic violence between the persons involved, and (D)
whether either person involved acted in self-defense.
(d) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of subdivision (a), if a suspect
commits an assault or battery upon a current or former spouse,
fiance, fiancee, a current or former cohabitant as defined in Section
6209 of the Family Code, a person with whom the suspect currently is
having or has previously had an engagement or dating relationship,
as defined in paragraph (10) of subdivision (f) of Section 243, a
person with whom the suspect has parented a child, or is presumed to
have parented a child pursuant to the Uniform Parentage Act (Part 3
(commencing with Section 7600) of Division 12 of the Family Code), a
child of the suspect, a child whose parentage by the suspect is the
subject of an action under the Uniform Parentage Act, a child of a
person in one of the above categories, any other person related to
the suspect by consanguinity or affinity within the second degree, or
any person who is 65 years of age or older and who is related to the
suspect by blood or legal guardianship, a peace officer may arrest
the suspect without a warrant where both of the following
circumstances apply:
(1) The peace officer has probable cause to believe that the
person to be arrested has committed the assault or battery, whether
or not it has in fact been committed.
(2) The peace officer makes the arrest as soon as probable cause
arises to believe that the person to be arrested has committed the
assault or battery, whether or not it has in fact been committed.
(e) In addition to the authority to make an arrest without a
warrant pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (3) of subdivision (a), a
peace officer may, without a warrant, arrest a person for a violation
of Section 12025 when all of the following apply:
(1) The officer has reasonable cause to believe that the person to
be arrested has committed the violation of Section 12025.
(2) The violation of Section 12025 occurred within an airport, as
defined in Section 21013 of the Public Utilities Code, in an area to
which access is controlled by the inspection of persons and property.

(3) The peace officer makes the arrest as soon as reasonable cause
arises to believe that the person to be arrested has committed the
violation of Section 12025.


836.1. When a person commits an assault or battery against the
person of a firefighter, emergency medical technician, or mobile
intensive care paramedic while that person is on duty engaged in the
performance of his or her duties in violation of subdivision (b) of
Section 241 or subdivision (b) of Section 243, a peace officer may,
without a warrant, arrest the person who commits the assault or
battery:
(a) Whenever the peace officer has reasonable cause to believe
that the person to be arrested has committed the assault or battery,
although the assault or battery was not committed in the peace
officer's presence.
(b) Whenever the peace officer has reasonable cause to believe
that the person to be arrested has committed the assault or battery,
whether or not the assault or battery has in fact been committed.

Doheny
03-30-2009, 8:14 AM
I can't think of too many instances where a private persons arrest is worth the time, effort or liability.

FYI, it's my understanding it's now called Private Persons arrest rather than Citizens arrest because even a non-citizen can make such arrest.

DDT
03-30-2009, 9:13 AM
First off, taping someone without their permission is illegal and unless it's Newt G. making a strategy call to other GOPers you will get sued or go to jail.

It would be interesting if a troller was outed. My guess is they wouldn't break cover though. If you said something to the effect of "what you are asking me to do is illegal" they'll pass immediately. Now, if you did get them to admit being a DOJ/BOF agent it would be fun to just snap a photo of them and pass it around the gun show or follow them around and step in to their every conversation 2 minutes into it with "Hello agent XXX you down here working undercover?"

At DefCon they used to play a game called "spot the fed" don't know if they still play but it was quite entertaining.

N6ATF
03-30-2009, 9:49 AM
:fud:
1) No reasonable expectation of privacy in a public place
2) Recordings of law enforcement performing their duties are legal

jamesob
03-30-2009, 11:38 AM
How to Citizens Arrest:...

** Call a LEO to the scene.
** Tell the LEO(s) exactly what happened.
** Tell the LEO(s) you will sign a CA.
** When prompted by the LEO(s) tell the person you want to arrest that they "are under arrest for XXX".
** Sign paperwork and be prepared to testify down the road.

At that point the LEO essentially has to take the arrest. What they do with the arrestee after the fact is up to them... e.g. released with a citation under 849 et seq. for misdemeanors.

ETA: If you are in fact attempting to CA at a gun show for being solicited to make some type of illegal transaction, if the subject is a trolling LEO or an informant they are going to out themselves at some point and claim that they were working an investigation. At that point it would be over, they pretty much can't be arrested for doing their job.... even if their job is to try and trick you into doing something stupid.

1+ The only way a citizens arrest is valid is while a leo is present.

DDT
03-30-2009, 11:49 AM
:fud:
1) No reasonable expectation of privacy in a public place
2) Recordings of law enforcement performing their duties are legal

Please don't just fly the FUD flag when it is quite possible that someone is simply incorrect about facts of law and NOT trying to mislead by purposefully spreading false information.

1) I do understand that there is no expectation of privacy in a public place, I don't know exactly where the line is drawn for that expectation.

2) Can you please provide a citation stating it is legal to record LEO doing their jobs? I was looking at the CA privacy statutes and while it stated that LEO can record without notice while doing their job I was not able to find anything to say it works the other way around.

strangerdude
03-30-2009, 11:52 AM
All I know from the security classes i have taken, a citizen can only make an arrest If a felony is committed. But I could give a crap, that's the police's job, I won't put my life on the line just to be an "outstanding citizen."

tyrist
03-30-2009, 1:10 PM
All I know from the security classes i have taken, a citizen can only make an arrest If a felony is committed. But I could give a crap, that's the police's job, I won't put my life on the line just to be an "outstanding citizen."

If a felony is committed we do not need a private person to sign the private person arrest form...we are the arresting party and need only witness statements or other evidence to establish probable cause. A misdemeanor not in our presence and outside of the specific exceptions we are required to have a private person's arrest form signed. I cannot arrest somebody for misdemeanor battery, petty theft, and misdemeanor vandalism not committed in my presence so a victim or witness needs to sign the form or I cannot arrest.

CSDGuy
03-30-2009, 3:49 PM
All I know from the security classes i have taken, a citizen can only make an arrest If a felony is committed. But I could give a crap, that's the police's job, I won't put my life on the line just to be an "outstanding citizen."
A private citizen can arrest for a misdemeanor committed in the presence of that private citizen. Interestingly enough, absent a warrant, the same thing goes for a LEO. LEO can arrest/cite for infractions and do vehicle stops whereas a private citizen can not.
If a felony is committed we do not need a private person to sign the private person arrest form...we are the arresting party and need only witness statements or other evidence to establish probable cause. A misdemeanor not in our presence and outside of the specific exceptions we are required to have a private person's arrest form signed. I cannot arrest somebody for misdemeanor battery, petty theft, and misdemeanor vandalism not committed in my presence so a victim or witness needs to sign the form or I cannot arrest.
That's about the size of it. For those misd. crimes... a private citizen does the arrest and turns the arrested over to LE.
Adding to this; when I became a security guard (30 years ago) the class I took was taught by a guy who was both a SGT in the SDPD & a lawyer. He said that private persons had the exact same powers to arrest as a cop, with the exception that cops had immunity from suits if a crime had not actually occurred. Private persons had it ONLY if a crime had actually occurred. So, if the scary-looking black guy you've stopped from forcing the cute little blond girl into a van is actually her step-dad dealing with his fit-throwing child, you are in the deepest of doo-doo, while a cop couldn't be sued. Of course, that was a long time ago. Laws have changed. LVT-40 points one change. There are no doubt others.

Still, the legal philosophy that cops & citizens have the same powers to arrest is a good one. Very much in keeping with Sir Robert Peel's comment that while cops dedicate all their time to the task, we all have the duty to enforce the law.

The Raisuli
Private persons do NOT have any immunity to suit for their actions wrt Citizens's Arrest. That includes when a crime has occurred. You can lawfully arrest someone and they can sue you for it. For Felonies and Misdemeanors, the powers of arrest are basically the same. Citizens can not arrest/cite for infractions. LE can. LE has qualified immunity. Private Citizens do not. LE has some instances where they MUST arrest a person. Not so with a private person. Also, a LEO does not lose his/her right to self-defense OR be deemed the aggressor when attempting to effect an arrest. That protection is not in the penal code.

Furthermore, a LEO can arrest you for a Felony that he's got probable cause to believe that a Felony has been committed, whether or not a Felony has actually been committed... good luck finding protection for that as a private citizen.

GuyW
03-30-2009, 4:55 PM
Please don't just fly the FUD flag when it is quite possible that someone is simply incorrect about facts of law and NOT trying to mislead by purposefully spreading false information.


Wait! I'd bet that 98% of the time, the FUDer isn't trying to mislead, they're just wrong.

Am I misunderstand the definition of FUD??
.

Mulay El Raisuli
03-31-2009, 5:39 AM
Wait! I'd bet that 98% of the time, the FUDer isn't trying to mislead, they're just wrong.

Am I misunderstand the definition of FUD??
.


I was told that the definition was Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. That is, to be FUD, the intent must be to spread Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. Simply being wrong isn't, then, FUD. Which means the FUD flag flies a little too often.

The Raisuli

P.S. I did say that I was a security guard 30 years ago, didn't I?

Whiskey84
03-31-2009, 8:44 AM
As a citizen I can make an arrest for a felony. What do you think you are doing when you hold someone at gun point who broke into your house.

Putting the fear of God into them.

N6ATF
03-31-2009, 11:57 AM
Wait! I'd bet that 98% of the time, the FUDer isn't trying to mislead, they're just wrong.

Am I misunderstand the definition of FUD??
.

In this case, the wrongness causes fear of arrest for exercising responsible government oversight. Apparently the numerous stories on this forum of recording police encounters and lawyers and quasi-lawyers strongly recommending doing this is not enough to completely erase the wrongful fear.

MP301
04-01-2009, 1:15 AM
FUD is FUD, whether or not the person spreading it did it on purpose or not. If you post bad things that are not true or maybe just twisted, embellished, etc, you are spreading FUD. If you are possibly full of crap and making statements that are possibly in error, you should qualify them by saying that you "heard from source Y this" or were "told from source X that" and not state it as fact. You could even take a minute and look up your claim and even give a link instaed of talking out the side of your neck...Otherwise, you are spreading....what? FUD

note: this was not directed at anyone in particular, so cool your jets before getting your knickers in a twist!

DDT
04-01-2009, 7:04 AM
In this case, the wrongness causes fear of arrest for exercising responsible government oversight. Apparently the numerous stories on this forum of recording police encounters and lawyers and quasi-lawyers strongly recommending doing this is not enough to completely erase the wrongful fear.

In your accusations of "FUD"-slinging by me you said that:


2) Recordings of law enforcement performing their duties are legal

I refute this and would like to see on what basis you make this claim. The CPC on privacy is HERE (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cacodes/pen/630-637.9.html) and the only LE exemption I can see is their ability to record YOU without notice, I do not see anything giving you the same right.

N6ATF
04-01-2009, 9:49 AM
You're asking me to prove a negative (in this case, the lack of a positive).

That's the whole problem. Rights of citizens are not given to us by the CPC. It merely prohibits things we can do, with some exceptions, including but not limited to LE.

It has been said time and time again on this forum essentially that:
1) If you're looking for the law to explicitly tell you what you CAN do, you misunderstand the function of laws, which serve to prohibit, not allow.
2) If you're not recording police encounters for your own records, you're screwed. They cannot, and should not, have the monopoly on recording you.

Dark&Good
04-01-2009, 10:10 AM
What about the UOC guys who record their encounters with LE? They don't seem to commit anything.