No. 66 March Term, 1979, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Snyder County, Pennsylvania Civil Action - Law Division at No. 489 - 1977, in trespass, dated March 16, 1979, granting Appellee's motion for summary judgment.
John P. Campana, Williamsport, for appellant.
Richard L. Kearns, Harrisburg, for appellee.
Cercone, President Judge, and Watkins and Montgomery, JJ.
[ 278 Pa. Super. Page 424]
This appeal by the plaintiff comes to us as a result of a summary judgment being entered in defendants' favor for the reason that appellant's claim is barred by the Statute of Limitations.
The action is in trespass. Plaintiff pleads a false arrest by a policeman of defendant borough, during which the officer placed handcuffs on her and dragged her on the ground,
[ 278 Pa. Super. Page 425]
injuring her shoulder. She also alleges that her injury was caused by the use of unnecessary force and rough handling by the arresting officer.
If this is to be considered solely as false arrest for which the Statute of Limitations was one year,*fn1 the claim is barred unless waived as appellant contends it was. If the tort being considered is assault and battery, a trespass vi et armis, for which the statute is two years*fn2, the claim is not barred and the question of waiver need not be considered.
We must agree with the lower court that the suit arose out of a physical confrontation between plaintiff and an on duty police officer attempting to make an arrest. There is nothing in the complaint to indicate that the assault and battery was committed only after the arrest was made. Clearly, the two alleged torts arose out of the same conduct of the policeman at the time of the arrest.
We are asked to distinguish the present case from that of Gagliardi v. Lynn, 446 Pa. 144, 285 A.2d 109 (1971) which held that where false arrest is tort declared upon, the false imprisonment is inextricably intertwined with it so as to make the one year statute of limitation for false arrest applicable to both torts, irrespective of the fact that false imprisonment alone has a two year limitations period. Our study of that case indicates that the reason for that decision is that "false arrest" is synonymous with false imprisonment where a defendant purports to act for the purpose of securing the administration of the law without actual legal justification. Although an arrest, whether with or without a warrant, usually involves conduct which, ...