[(a)] In any action for false arrest, false imprisonment, unlawful detention, defamation of character, assault, trespass, or invasion of civil rights, brought by any person by reason of having been detained on or in the immediate vicinity of the premises of a retail mercantile establishment for the purpose of investigation or questioning as to the ownership of any merchandise, or a motion picture theater for the purpose of investigation or questioning as to an unauthorized audiovisual recording of a motion picture, it shall be a defense to the action that the person was detained in a reasonable manner and for not more than a reasonable time to permit such investigation or questioning by a police officer or by the owner of the retail mercantile establishment or motion picture theater, the owner's authorized employee, or agent, and that such police officer, owner, employee, or agent had reasonable grounds to believe that the person so detained was committing or attempting to commit larceny of merchandise or unauthorized audiovisual recording of a motion picture on the premises.
[(b)] As used in this section:
“Motion picture theater” means a movie theater, screening room, or other venue in use primarily for the exhibition of a motion picture at the time of the unauthorized audiovisual recording of a motion picture.
“Reasonable grounds” includes, but is not limited to, knowledge that a person has concealed possession of unpurchased merchandise of the retail mercantile establishment or has made an unauthorized audiovisual recording of a motion picture taken at a motion picture theater.
“Reasonable time” means the time necessary to permit the person detained to make a statement or to refuse to make a statement, and the time necessary to examine employees and records of the mercantile establishment or motion picture theater relative to the ownership of the merchandise or making of an unauthorized audiovisual recording of a motion picture.
“Retail mercantile establishment” means a place where goods, wares, or merchandise are offered to the public for sale.
[(c)] This section applies to legal actions resulting from detentions occurring after May 21, 1967, for retail merchant establishments, and after May 18, 2005, for motion picture theaters.
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