Legal Subject: Wrongful imprisonment

Case Date Legal Subject Abstract
Andrew v. Murdoch 20 Jun 1806 Wrongful imprisonment, Due process The pursuer raised an action of wrongful imprisonment against the defender, Sheriff-Substitute, and challenged the interlocutor that ordered his incarceration. The pursuer argued that the defender violated the Act of 1701, by not giving a deliverance on the petition for bail within the required time, and also by not admitting the pursuer to bail when he was accused of a bailable offense. The purpose of the act was to protect people from oppressive acts by those entrusted with executive or ministerial authority.
Macindoe v. Cowley, Wallace, Crawford, and French 1780 Military, Optima Fide, Jurisdiction, Mala Fides, Damages, Wrongful imprisonment, Freemasonry This case concerns the forced enlistment and imprisonment for desertion of John Macindoe, Glasgow hair-dresser. In February of 1777, while in a drunken state, John Macindoe pledged himself to the army in exchange for a shilling from Ensign Hugh Wallace. A few weeks later, upon the order of Captain William Cowley, Macindoe was seized by a group of soldiers and imprisoned for refusing to enlist. Macindoe applied to the Court by a bill of suspension and liberation, and Lords Covington and Kennet ordered Macindoe set at liberty. Macindoe then brought action for damages and expenses against Wallace and Cowley, and against the bailies who had ordered his imprisonment. He claimed that his false imprisonment had led to the ruin of his business, and that he had been forced to enlist in another regiment out of necessity. Bailies French and Crawfurd, on the other hand, argued that because Macindoe was presently a soldier, therefore "the only consequence of his not being found a soldier in one regiment, was, that he would soon be a soldier in another.” They also argued that as bailies they had merely judged erroneously, and not acted out of malice. The Court assoilzied Crawfurd and French, as well as Cowley. Ensign Wallace then petitioned the Court for assoilment as well, stating that he had "innocently and bona fide" believed that Macindoe's enlistment was legitimate.
Robert Scott v. Adam Mitchell 1775 Wrongful imprisonment, Cautio Judicio Sisti This case was about whether a magistrate supervising a fair could exercise a power of summary imprisonment. On his way to the St. Lawrence fair in Selkirk, Robert Scott, pursuer, agreed to buy a cow from William Oliver. Scott intended to purchase the cow as a “yeld” (a barren cow), but he claimed to have discovered at the fair that she was “in milk.” Scott refused to take the cow or pay the agreed upon price. Oliver complained to defender Adam Mitchell, one of the bailies of Selkirk. Mitchell ordered Scott jailed after a summary proceeding, the facts of which were disputed. Arguing that this process was defective, Scott brought an action for damages for wrongful imprisonment. Mitchell claimed that as superior of the fair, he was empowered to enforce Scott and Oliver’s contract by summarily imprisoning Scott until Scott found caution (i.e., bail).