Brief of Bird v Jones

Brief of Bird v Jones by Legum

Bird v. Jones [1845] 7 QB 742

Material Facts:

The plaintiff, Bird, was travelling on a highway. A section of the highway was obstructed by a crowd who paid to witness a boat race. The defendant obstructed the plaintiff from going through the crowd and recommended that the plaintiff used an alternative route which was unobstructed. The plaintiff refused to use the alternative route, stood in the same place, and brought an action for false imprisonment against the defendant.


Whether or not the defendant’s act of obstructing the plaintiff from moving in one direction whilst leaving all other directions unobstructed, constitutes false imprisonment.


The defendant’s act did not constitute false imprisonment.

Ratio Decidendi:

Per Coleridge J., for false imprisonment, there must be the existence of a boundary within which the party imprisoning would confine the imprisoned party and prevent the latter from leaving that place. In the instance case, there were other directions the plaintiff could take, hence he was not imprisoned within a boundary and prevented from leaving.