This set of provisions authorizes private citizens to make arrests and explains when and how citizen arrests may be made.
§ 837. Private persons; authority to arrest
Arrests by private persons. A private person may arrest another:
1. For a public offense committed or attempted in his presence.
2. When the person arrested has committed a felony, although not in his presence.
3. When a felony has been in fact committed, and he has reasonable cause for believing the person arrested to have committed it.
§ 847. Arrest by private person; duty to take prisoner before magistrate or deliver him to peace officer; liability for false arrest
(a) A private person who has arrested another for the commission of a public offense must, without unnecessary delay, take the person arrested before a magistrate, or deliver him or her to a peace officer.
(b) There shall be no civil liability on the part of, and no cause of action shall arise against, any peace officer or federal criminal investigator or law enforcement officer described in subdivision (a) or (d) of Section 830.8, acting within the scope of his or her authority, for false arrest or false imprisonment arising out of any arrest under any of the following circumstances:
(1) The arrest was lawful, or the peace officer, at the time of the arrest, had reasonable cause to believe the arrest was lawful.
(2) The arrest was made pursuant to a charge made, upon reasonable cause, of the commission of a felony by the person to be arrested.
(3) The arrest was made pursuant to the requirements of Section 142, 837, 838, or 839.
(Enacted 1872. Amended by Stats.1957, c. 2147, p. 3806, § 5; Stats.1994, c. 424 (A.B.1610), § 2; Stats.2002, c. 526 (A.B.1835), § 2; Stats.2003, c. 468 (S.B.851), § 13.)