Compensation awarded for unlawful search: Jane & Alan v State of NSW

Strip search arrestJaywalking stop leads to unlawful search in Sydney CBD

Jane and Alan* crossed an intersection in Sydney City along with other pedestrians when the pedestrian light turned green. When they reached the other side of the intersection a police officer stopped them for allegedly crossing the street when the pedestrian light was red.

The police officer asked the pair for their ID, where they both replied they didn’t have any ID on them at the time. During this interaction, the police officer searched Jane’s bag which contained a shoebox with shoes and a receipt for the purchase of those shoes. Alan tapped their pockets and showed their iPhone to the police officer. Alan protested the search of Jane’s bag and the police officer subsequently told them they were under arrest.

The police officer directed Jane and Alan to move 10 metres away near a few police motorcycles. The police officer continued to search through Jane’s bag. Jane and Alan began recording the interaction. The police officer threatened to take Alan and Jane to the station if they did not cooperate with orders. Then, the police officer then searched Alan’s pockets by placing his hands inside of them. The police officer then obtained Jane and Alan’s details and entered them into an electronic device.

The pair were under arrest for approximately 13 minutes and subsequently got penalty notices for “cross when pedestrian lights not green”.

Plaintiffs sue NSW Police for false imprisonment, assault and battery, trespass to goods

Jane and Alan commenced proceedings in the NSW District Court. Firstly, for false imprisonment, assault and battery for Alan. Secondly, false imprisonment, assault and trespass to goods for Jane. An Informal Settlement Conference was held with the representative of the State of NSW and negotiated a settlement deal for our clients, which awarded them compensation and covered the costs of their legal representation.

O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors are able to pursue your possible claim anywhere in Australia. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today on 02 9261 4281 or by email at

*Name changed for confidentiality.

O’Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors
p: 02 9261 4281
a: Level 4, 219-223 Castlereagh St,
Sydney NSW 2000

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