GL v State of NSW: Assault, battery, false imprisonment

O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors are experts in assisting clients sue the police for false arrest, unlawful imprisonment and malicious prosecution. Read about one of our successful cases below.

Mardi Gras unlawful strip searchGL stood in line at a Mardi Gras event when a police sniffer dog stopped beside him. Police took GL aside to a “private” fenced off tent, where they commenced a full strip search. However, there was a gap in the tent and GL’s body was in the view of people outside of the tent.



We sue over the Mardi Gras unlawful strip search

GL sued police for assault, battery and false imprisonment. The LEPRA (Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002) states that, as far as is reasonably necessary, a strip search must not happen in the view of a person whose presence is not necessary for the search. We made the argument that once police break this requirement – as it was in GL’s case – the strip search becomes unlawful. Any touching or apprehended touching of a person’s body during an unlawful search will be a battery or assault.

We made a further argument on the basis that police require reasonable suspicion under LEPRA before they can make an arrest. The argument was that police cannot form this reasonable suspicion based on the actions of a sniffer dog. An arrest carried out without reasonable suspicion will constitute a false imprisonment.

Police settled with GL.


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

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