Our Experienced Bronx Personal Injury Attorneys Explain Some Important Things You Need To Know If You Believe Your Civil Rights Were Violated.
Although law enforcement officers, including the police, are legally permitted to arrest, imprison and even use force — these powers are not absolute. In fact, each and every member of the public is protected by powerful civil rights based in our Constitution that are designed to guard against abuses of police power. Let our Bronx false arrest attorneys explain some important things you need to know if you believe you were a victim of False Arrest, False Imprisonment of Excessive Force in the Bronx.
What Types of Claims Can Be Filed Against The Police If I Believe My Rights Were Violated?
The law imposes important limits on the power of the police. The framers of the Constitution were well aware of the importance of the police, but they were also careful to counterbalance the authority given to the police with fundamental Constitutional protections guaranteed to all. Specifically, the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees that:
the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be searched.
Over the years, these Constitutional rights have grown into a body of law that has served as the basis for some of the most fundamental types of claims that can be made against the police, including:
- False Arrest, which involves the arrest of an individual without legal authority;
- False Imprisonment, the confinement of an individual without legal authority;
- Excessive Force, force that is unreasonable under the circumstances;
- Unjust Convictions, the wrongful conviction of an individual.
Unlike many other countries in the world, we all have the right to challenge the behavior of the police in a court of law. This right is fundamental to our freedom as Americans. When this type of case is heard, the jury is asked to consider the testimony of the claimant and the police officers involved as well as the testimony of any independent witnesses.
In addition, other evidence may also be presented to the jury. Powerful evidence like video captured on surveillance cameras or the cell phones of bystanders may also be available for review. Once the evidence is presented, the jury is asked to decide whether the claimant’s rights were violated and, if so, what award of money damages is appropriate.
Are There Any Time Limitations to Filing a False Arrest, False Imprisonment or Excessive Force Case?
Claims for false arrest, false imprisonment and excessive force made against local police, like the NYC Police Department require the filing of a Notice of Claim within 90 days of the arrest. A Notice of Claim is a legal document that contains specific information about the details of a claim. A Notice of Claim must be signed by the claimant and properly filed.
After the Notice of Claim is filed, the municipality can question the claimant at a hearing known as a 50(h) hearing. The claimant is not entitled to question the Police Officers involved at this point of the proceedings. Instead, the hearing is designed to permit the municipality an opportunity to investigate the claim and consider the possibility of settlement.
In addition to a hearing, a municipal defendant is entitled to conduct a physical examination of the claimant. Only after all of these procedural steps have been taken, does a claimant have the right to start a lawsuit. As a general rule, the statute of limitations against a municipal defendant is 1 year and 90 days.
A claimant may also have a right to file a claim under Title 42 of the United States Code Section 1983 which prohibits a person acting under the authority of state law from depriving another of his or her rights under Federal Law or the United States Constitution. Claims under this provision of the law may be filed up to 3 years after the incident.
Can I Make a Complaint About Police Conduct, Without Filing a Lawsuit?
The New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) is an important independent agency charged with investigating complaints of excessive force, abuse of authority, and other similar type claims filed against the New York City Police Department. This board has the power to investigate, prosecute, mediate and recommend action based upon complaints filed. The Board can speak with the claimant and the officers involved, as well as any independent witnesses. The CCRB does not, however, award monetary damages if a claim is substantiated.
Instead, if an officer is found guilty of misconduct, the CCRB can: issue a warning and admonishment; order the loss of vacation days; order a suspension without pay, dismissal or probation; or even order termination from the NYPD. The police commissioner does, however, retain the authority to decide the discipline and the penalty to be imposed.
Bronx False Arrest Lawyers24-7.com | Ask Questions – Get Answers
If you have any questions concerning a potential civil rights claim, contact our experienced Bronx civil rights attorneys for a free consultation by email, or by calling (800) 762-9300. You can also get started by simply filling out one of our case intake forms, and one our attorneys will get right back to you.
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