False Imprisonment, the unlawful restraint or detention of a person against his will. For false imprisonment to occur, the person does not have to be locked in a room or cell. He can merely be kept from going about his business because of fear that physical force will be applied. False imprisonment is ordinarily a tort (civil wrong), for which the injured party may bring suit to collect damages.

A common example of false imprisonment is the case of a suspected shoplifter who, with or without force but against his will, is taken to the store manager's office to be searched. If no evidence of stolen merchandise can be found, the accused may have grounds to sue the store.

False arrest is false imprisonment committed by an official in the name of a government body. It may be committed by arresting a person without a warrant where a warrant is required by law, or by using an invalid warrant.