Question: I'm an elderly widow who rents a condo and keeps to myself. While sitting alone quietly near the pool, a board director made a beeline from the other end of the complex and accosted me. She hollered, "I wish I had time to sit by the pool" and "Why don't you just take my job, come to the meeting and take over?" I had no idea what she was talking about, because renters aren't allowed to be on the board.
As she kept yelling at me, the gardeners standing next to her were rolling their eyes. I got scared and was afraid she was going to hit me, so I tried to leave. She blocked me so I couldn't get out of my chair and yelled louder, "We're a prized community, and we have lots of maintenance to do! You need to be involved!" This continued for over 30 minutes. I was mortified by this treatment and haven't been back to the pool. Can I do anything about this?
Answer: The director's behavior could create potential liability for all the owners. This director's actions, in part, may amount to false imprisonment. The civil wrong or tort of false imprisonment requires that the person doing the imprisoning, in this case the director, by her acts caused you to be restrained from leaving the location where the acts occurred. The boundaries of your imprisonment do not have to be physical in nature, meaning that your inability to leave the pool area because of this director's behavior meets the definition of false imprisonment.