HOW TO SUE FOR UNLAWFUL ARREST
WHAT ARE UNLAWFUL ARREST CLAIMS
Unlawful arrest is when a police officer exceeds his/her authority or when a person’s freedom of movement is unjustifiably restricted by an officer of the law. This seems to be a concern amongst South Africans as there are a growing number of civil claims against the South African Police Services. In 2019, the Minister of Police was ordered to pay almost R600 000.00 in damages to a teenager who was unlawfully arrested and detained.
Unfortunately, the very institution that is placed to serve and protect innocent citizens are caught infringing on people’s rights. There are countless reports of corrupt police who broke the law and have been held accountable for their actions. We need to bear in mind that with the crime statistics in South Africa, officers are sometimes required to make quick decisions in order to be pro-active and mistakes can easily happen.
If you have been in a situation where a police officer acted in an unfair and unconstitutional matter, a civil claim can be laid against the police to get justice and claim compensation for damages.
The Constitution claims that an unlawful arrest infringes on many of a citizen’s rights. It is a gross violation of Section 10 of the Constitution which recognises everyone’s inherent dignity and protects the right to have this dignity respected and protected by all. The right to freedom and security of every person is acknowledged by Section 12 of the Constitution and protects the right not to be deprived of freedom or without just cause and detained without a trial. A police officer may only arrest a person without a warrant in exceptional circumstances.
If you have been wrongfully arrested, it is well within your rights issue summons for damages as a result therof. There are certain rules to follow and our legal team at Burger Huyser Attorneys will assist you through this traumatic situation. Get in contact with our offices in Johannesburg to discuss your rights.