How Long Does An Individual Have To File A Lawsuit Against A Florida Police Officer
While Floridas statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is generally four years from the date of the incident, the timeframe to file suit against a police officer or a police department may be shorter.
If someone was injured or wrongfully arrested by a Florida police officer and they are wanting to learn more about filing a lawsuit against him/her or their department, USAttorneys.com can help them locate and hire a lawyer in their city, whether that be Miami, Jacksonville, or Tampa.
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When an accident or any form of injustice is suffered, obtaining an attorney quickly is critical to ensuring a positive outcome for your case and thats exactly what were here to help you with. USAttorneys.com is your one-stop-shop to find any kind of lawyer you might need to assist you with your legal matters. Weve got you covered, whether you are seeking an accident attorney following a car crash, medical malpractice attorney after losing a loved one during surgery, or a tax attorney to fight back against the IRS.
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What Is Police Abuse
Police abuse involves any type of misconduct or misrepresentation of power. Also called abuse of power, this encompasses the many ways that officers can take advantage of their powerful position in our society. Some examples of police abuse involve officers who treat citizens with unwarranted brutality, engage in corrupt acts that put innocent citizens lives at stake, or shoot people in response to little or no provocation.
Can You Sue The Police For A Wrongful Death
Its the police officers sworn duty to protect and serve the communities where they patrol. But in some cases, police work can be chaotic, resulting in violations of civilian rights or negligent acts. These instances can result in injuries and deaths.
If proven, individuals who lost a loved one due to an officers negligence can file a civil lawsuit for pain and suffering, lost companionship, and other damages. It will be challenging for the courts, however, to determine liabilities because officers are often in dangerous situations and must make split-second decisions regarding the use of deadly force.
You also need to file this type of lawsuit against the city or the jurisdiction of the involved police department. Public employees, like police officers, may receive qualified immunity in injury claims as long as there is no willful violation of the established law. An officer can have immunity from a wrongful death lawsuit if, for instance, a victim is killed after the officer properly uses techniques approved by the department.
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Reasons For Suing The Police
Under federal law, police officers may be sued both personally and professionally . A civilian may file a lawsuit against a police officer for various reasons, including:
- Infliction of emotional distress: When an officer purposely or recklessly behaves in a way that causes either emotional injury or distress through a negligent act.
- Excessive force: When an officer uses deadly force in a situation that does not justify it.
In civil suits such as these, the burden of proof typically falls on the plaintiff, who must prove liability by a preponderance of the evidence . This is a significantly lower standard than the one for criminal cases .
There are two types of claims one can file against a police officer in a personal capacity:
: the plaintiff must demonstrate that the officer either a) knew that a fellow policeman was violating the plaintiffs constitutional rights b) had a reasonable chance to prevent the harm or c) decided not to act.
Supervisor Liability: This liability requires that a supervisor had knowledge that a subordinate officer displayed conduct that posed an unreasonable risk of constitutional injury to citizens.
Who Specifically Can I Sue
Individual police officers, supervisors, and police departments themselves can be named in a lawsuit alleging police misconduct. The government that employs and oversees the department can also be sued, however governmental immunity offers protection to municipalities subjected to police misconduct lawsuits.
Governmental immunity is a policy that protects governments and government agencies from lawsuits in many cases. The intent behind governmental immunity is to make it easier for governments to make decisions and take action without the fear of being sued for their conduct.
A common question someone who has been arrested for a crime they did not commit is, can you sue the county for false charges? You may attempt to sue the county if you think false charges have been filed against you however governmental immunity will make it difficult to succeed.
Police officers have some immunity known as âqualified immunity.â Qualified immunity means that police officers are protected from being sued as long as they are acting within the guidelines of their job and not acting negligently or unreasonably. Like governmental immunity, qualified immunity gives police officers room to do their job without the fear of lawsuits interfering.
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Civil Rights Act Section 1983
When an individual has been the victim of a violation of their civil rights, they may be able to file a lawsuit against the police under the Civil Rights Act of 1871. This is done primarily under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which is generally referred to as a Section 1983 claim. A Section 1983 claim is a civil suit by a member of the public against the police department or government agency that violated the individuals rights. Generally, a successful Section 1983 claim requires the deprivation of an individuals civil rights, by a government official, acting under the supposed power of the law.
Whether You Can Sue For Emotional Distress Caused By Law Enforcement Depends On The Circumstances
By Leigh Segars
Anyone who has had a bad experience with the policeeven one not resulting in physical injuryhas probably wondered whether there is any remedy. Many want to know whether they can sue. The answer to that question, as with so many legal queries, is, “It depends.”
Generally, citizens can sue the police for infliction of emotional distress in one of two instances, when an officer:
- intentionally or recklessly acts in a way that causes emotional injury or
- causes emotional distress through a negligent act.
But if the court determines that the conduct was within the scope of the officer’s law-enforcement duties, that officer is generally immune .
For information on a related topicfiling a lawsuit in civil court for physical injuries caused by law enforcementread up on suing the police for excessive force. Also see the discussion of physical injuries in this article, below.
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A Police Officer Assaulted Me Can I Claim Compensation
Whether you are a member of the general public, or a fellow Police officer and you are assaulted by a Police officer then you can make police negligence claims.
You may be able to claim police negligence compensation directly from the officer who committed the assault or you may be able to make police negligence claims, this would all depend on the circumstances of the incident. By calling us, we can discuss all the details during your free consultancy session to determine the best way to get the best possible outcome for you.
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A false accusation is where an unfounded or unsubstantiated allegation is made against a person. A false allegation can occur as the result of intentional lying on the part of the accuser or unintentionally or resulting from deliberate or accidental suggestive questioning, or faulty interviewing techniques. The accusations can be broken down in three categories:
- An allegation about alleged events that did not occur
- An allegation that describes events that did occur, but were perpetrated by an individual who is not accused, and in which the accused person is innocent.
- An allegation that is partly and partly false but the persons account of the facts implicated the accused person wrong.
The biggest effect that a false accusation has is on a persons character whereby the accusations made defame a persons reputation. False accusations may be made by the police or any other person.
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When Should You Sue The Police
Its important to know the specific incidents that present legal grounds for suing the police. These include:
- Harassment. This includes any form of intimidating or tormenting behavior, including racial profiling, verbal abuse, unlawful surveillance or spying, false arrest, and inappropriate sexist, homophobic or racial comments. In order to successfully file a harassment lawsuit, you must be able to show evidence of these behaviors by a police officer or the department.
- Discrimination. This has to do with any unfavorable treatment you receive because of your race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, pregnancy or maternity. If you believe you have been discriminated against for any of these reasons, you can file a discrimination claim against the officer or department in question. Specifically, you must be able to prove that this is a recurring issue to make your case.
- The violation of your fourth amendment rights. The US fourth amendmentprotects citizens from unlawful searches and seizures by the government or government officials. If your property is searched without a warrant, you have the right to sue for the violation of your fourth amendment rights.
- The use of excessive force. You can sue a police officer or the department he or she is under if you have been a victim of unnecessary force. In other words, you will have to prove that the force was unwarranted and the injuries you sustained were directly caused by such force.
Can The Police Sue Me
If you physically harm a police officer, they can personally sue you. After all, police officers are human beings, and they have the same rights as other citizens do. So if a civilian shot a police officer, the officer would be able to sue that civilian and have the same opportunity to present a case to prove negligence and damages. But, if the civilian who shot the police officer doesnt have any assets to pay for the damages they caused, it may be difficult for the officer to obtain compensation.
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Can I Sue The Police For Emotional Distress
If you have suffered emotionally and psychologically as a result of being involved in an act of Police misconduct or negligence, then you can make police negligence claims. Emotional scars very often take much longer than physical scars to heal and can have a huge impact on your well-being and ability to cope day-to-day.
If you feel this is you, then contact us straight away and our trained professionals can help you with care and empathy to get the police negligence compensation payout that you deserve.
What You Need To Know About Suing A Police Department
If youve been the victim of police brutality or other unlawful police action, its easy to feel helpless. After all, the very people who are supposed to protect you from harm are the ones who violated your rights. Fortunately, you may have options.
Both federal and state laws protect private individuals from being abused by police and other law enforcement officers. In some cases, victims may be able to recover significant compensation for the harms that they have sustained at the hands of the police and hold the officers that violated their rights accountable.
If the cops violated your rights, its imperative that you speak to a lawyer right away. Philadelphia civil rights attorney Lauren Wimmer is committed to holding the police accountable and will not hesitate to file a claim against any law enforcement agency if the facts warrant it. To schedule a free consultation with Ms. Wimmer, call our office today at 215-712-1212.
Section 1983 of The Civil Rights Act of 1871
Individuals who believe that they are the victims of excessive force by a police officer may sue the officer individually as well as the police department that employs the officer.
Suing a Police Department
In order to sue the police department for harassment or unlawful discrimination, you must demonstrate that a particular officer engaged in a pattern of harassing or discriminatory behavior.
Protecting Your Rights after the Police Violated Them
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Police Officers Can File A Civil Lawsuit For A Work
Police officers and firefighters willingly assume the risks inherent in their duties. They put their lives on the line every day as they serve and protect, and they are paid to do so. It is this concept, along with the misplaced notion that there are adequate Workers Compensation laws available to those officers injured in the line of duty, that led to the adoption of Californias Firemans Rule, a rule that bars a public safety officer from bringing a civil action against someone for an injury that occurred in the line of duty.
But the job of a public safety officer is not as clear-cut as the rule may imply, and often times work-related injuries occur due to the negligence or misconduct of others that were not the reason for the public safety officers presence at the injury-producing event. The Firemans Rule often imposed an injustice on public safety officers because the person who created the dangerous condition suffered no consequence for his or her misconduct, and the public safety officer was significantly limited in economic recovery by the Workers’ Compensation system.
In an attempt to rectify the injustice, the legislature enacted Civil Code Section 1714.9, which provides exceptions to the Firemans Rule. The statute authorizes civil lawsuits by police and firefighters when:
The following are examples of Civil Code 1714.9 in action as it pertains specifically to police officers.
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What Are Civil Actions Against The Police
Civil actions against the police are claims for compensation made through the judicial system.
The use of tort law allows citizens who have been subject to the abuse of the polices extensive powers to sue the police.
These civil claims are made by people who have been wronged by the police in some way, for example:
- the unlawful use of a police warrant
- police abuse.
When suing the police, victims of police misconduct instruct solicitors, such as Donoghue Solicitors, to investigate their civil claims. They will usually seek compensation and a contribution towards their legal costs.
Depending on the circumstances the police may also apologise for their actions, destroy DNA and personal data, correct records on the Police National Computer etc.
Civil actions against the police are different from complaints against the police where the aim is for the police to effectively conduct internal disciplinary matters.
Federal Civil Rights Violations
Althougha law enforcement officer may be immune from being sued or from beingcriminally charged in state court for failing to perform duties imposedby state law, an officer may nonetheless be sued in a federal civil suitif the performance or failure to perform duties imposed by state lawresults in a violation of a person’s federal constitutional rights.Thisis possible because federal law, specifically 42 U.S. § 1983, allows aperson to sue a police officer or other government official who violatesthe person’s civil rights.
“Section 1983 lawsuits,” as they areknown, are based on the Civil Rights Act of 1871, which aimed to stopillegal post-Civil War racial activities taken mostly by the Ku KluxKlan and ignored or treated lightly by state prosecutors. One of themost famous “1983” civil suits involved the 1991 beating of Rodney Kingafter the Los Angeles riots. Officers involved had been acquitted in astate court criminal case, but two of the four were found to haveviolated King’s civil rights in the subsequent federal lawsuit.
Youmay wonder how it is that an officer can be sued in federal court,under a federal law, for the same act that resulted in an acquittal in astate court. The answer lies in the fact that the federal government isa separate “sovereign” from the states, which allows Congress to chargeand prosecute someone even though the state has done so already.
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