It is familiar law that money paid under constraint of actual or threatened physical harm, either to the plaintiff himself or to a member of his family, may be recovered.3 The same is true of money paid under constraint of actual or threatened unlawful imprisonment.1 And, notwithstanding frequent statements to the effect that the imprisonment must be unlawful,2 it seems the better rule that to take advantage of a lawful imprisonment or of threats of lawful imprisonment for the purpose of furthering one's private ends is duress.3 Money so extorted may therefore be recovered.4
1 See Harriman, "Contracts," Sec. 445 and cases cited; Joannin v. Ogilvie, 1892, 49 Minn. 564; 52 N. W. 217; 16 L. R. A. 376; 32 Am. St. Rep. 581.
2 See Galusha v. Sherman, 1900, 105 Wis. 263; 81 N. W. 495; 47 L. R. A. 417.
3 Harmon v. Harmon, 1873, 61 Me. 227; 14 Am. Rep. 556.