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October 2, 2006 | by  | in News |
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Kidnapped! At the Library…

A student is intending to sue after he says he was kidnapped by librarians in the Rankine Brown library in July.

Harry Mete, a law student, said the incident occurred when he was late leaving the library on a Saturday due to a CD he was burning taking longer than the 5:30pm closing time. Mete alleges a librarian would not let him leave the library after he refused to apologise for keeping the library staff back for “four minutes” – which he claims equates to “false imprisonment” and “kidnapping”.

Mete says one librarian had told him at 5:30pm that he had to leave, and that he asked to stay another four minutes for his CD to complete and received no response, which he considered “implied consent”.

As he left, Mete says that another librarian “started giving me a lecture on time-management… I continued to walk away, and she said that I must come from a ‘bad family’, and I just said ‘get a grip’ and continued to walk away.”

Mete says that when he reached the exit, the librarian told him “I’m not letting you out unless you say ‘sorry’ to me and the librarians for keeping us behind.” Mete refused, and despite his demands that he be allowed to leave, the librarian continued to keep him in the library. “I was angry, I was furious, I was screaming at the top of my voice,” says Mete.

The librarian eventually called a security guard, who released Mete shortly after.

The librarian later initiated an informal complaints procedure against Mete, who, after speaking with a “very indirect, very evasive” disputes facilitator, decided to trigger formal proceedings”.

Mete spoke with the librarian’s supervisor, but says he is yet to hear back from them on the proceedings. “They said it would take about four weeks, and it’s been five weeks… I haven’t heard back from them since.”

Tony Cuttriss, Head of Lending and Reader Services, issued a statement on behalf of the Library saying “the matter in question was investigated promptly and the complainant sent a letter advising the outcome of the investigation. It would seem, however, that between the Library’s receipt of the complaint and the sending of the letter advising the outcome of the resulting investigation, the complainant’s address had changed… I am certain that the letter will shortly be re-sent to the complainant’s current address.”

Mete is intending to sue the librarian for $6000 in damages. “I’m looking at punitive damages… When you tell someone “you’re violating my legal rights, stop doing it, now” and they’re saying no, I’m going to continue doing it,” it’s a flagrant disregard for the plaintiff’s rights.”

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About the Author ()

With her take-no-prisoners, kick-ass attitude, former News Editor Laura McQuillan adequately makes up for her lack of stature. Roaming the corridors (and underground tunnels) of the University by day, and hunting vampires and Nazi war criminals by night, McQuillan will stop at nothing to bring you the freshest news.

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