Fojtik v. Charter Med. Corp.

985 S.W.2d 625 (1999)

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Fojtik v. Charter Med. Corp.

Texas Court of Appeals
985 S.W.2d 625 (1999)

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Facts

After an “intervention” staged by family and friends along with employees of Charter Medical Corporation (Charter) (defendant), Felix Fojtik (plaintiff) entered in-patient treatment for alcoholism at the Charter facility. Fojtik was a 45-year-old businessman. Although he entered treatment voluntarily, he did so only after being told that he would otherwise be legally committed to a hospital and brought there in handcuffs. Once at Charter, Fojtik sought to leave the facility on temporary “passes.” Initially, Fojtik was denied such passes on the ground that he had not yet been in treatment long enough. After a period of time, he was given passes for leaves of a few hours at a time. Fojtik always returned to the facility after leaving, stating that he wanted to comply with its rules in order to gain earlier access to release. At no time did Fojtik ask to leave the facility permanently. He complained, however, about being “locked up” and that Charter personnel called him an alcoholic and treated him as such. Fojtik sued Charter for false imprisonment in a Texas state court. Charter moved for summary judgment, asserting that Fojtik was always free to leave and that its system of “passes” was simply a procedural practice. The court granted Charter’s motion. Fojtik appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Chavez, J.)

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