Woman sues police for assault, battery and false imprisonment (KLS v State of NSW (NSW Police))

Key words: Assault – battery – false imprisonment – successful court action


KS’s son egged a vehicle belonging to someone KS knew. KS texted the car owner an apology and offered to help clean it. The person did not accept that apology, instead saying she planned to refer the matter to the police. KS then contacted the police, admitting to the incident. The car owner then complained to the police regarding the incident.

The next day, the police served KS an AVO.

KS went to the police station to complain about the AVO. After waiting several hours, she was arrested by the police in front of her husband and young daughter. She was then kept in custody for several hours without being told the reasons for her detention. She was eventually released without charge.

Three days later, KS was charged with intentionally or recklessly destroying or damaging property (the property being the car).

In Court, the police withdrew this charge on the basis that KS was to pay for the costs of cleaning the vehicle. This meant that KS was put through unnecessary stress and humiliation by the police for the sake of a solution she had already personally offered to make.

KS approached O’Brien Solicitors to help her explore any avenues of recourse against the police.


O’Brien Solicitors helped KS successfully sue the police for assault, battery, and false imprisonment (unlawful arrest). The matter proceeded to hearing, lasting 3 days. The presiding judge was scathing of the conduct of the police in arresting KS over a minor egging incident. Unsurprisingly, a judgment was entered in favour of KS.