How Do I Sue the Police Department?
Published April 2, 2023
US Police officers are tasked with protecting and serving American citizens. Sadly, police forces have a long history of brutality, prejudice, and other illegal behaviors. As a citizen of the United States, you have rights that must be safeguarded by both state and federal law.
If the police have harmed you or a loved one, or if you believe your rights have been violated, you may feel helpless and frustrated. The good news is your civil rights allow you to sue the police department that wronged you and pursue justice for the wrongdoings they committed.
How Do I Sue the Police Department?
Violations of rights are taken seriously by those who have been accused, so you must have more than enough evidence to support your claims to help you move forward with the next steps. In addition, it will be essential to organize this evidence so you can argue regarding the violation of your civil rights or when police misconduct has occurred.
Submit the Initial Documents
The first step in how to sue the police department if the police violate your rights is to take immediate action to protect them. You will be needed to file a “Notice of Claim” within 90 days of the incident. Federal claims, on the other hand, give you 3 years to file your case. Your right to claim monetary or other forms of compensation for any injuries will be forfeited if your attorney fails to meet the deadline.
Your attorney will next file a “Summons and Complaint” with the court. This document is required to be given to the Defendants. The Summons requires the Defendants to react to your charges, and the Complaint describes your allegations, identifies the laws violated by the police, and requires them to submit an Answer to your Complaint within 20 or 30 days.
Motions can then be filed by lawyers at any time before, during, or after the discovery process. A motion is a document that requests the court to rule on particular issues of the case, such as the inclusion of certain evidence.
Your lawsuit’s discovery phase will begin following the submission of the initial documents. During this stage, the Plaintiff and the Defendants can request documents as well as information from each other that will assist them in preparing for settlement negotiations or a trial.
Often, the documents contain medical records received for injuries caused by police, as well as employment records, including tax returns that help to calculate wages lost due to police wrongdoing. The attorneys may also interview witnesses during Examinations Before Trial (EBTs), often known as depositions. Typically, the discovery phase on how to sue police lasts several months.
Many cases of police misconduct end in a settlement. In exchange for a legally binding agreement that typically includes monetary compensation, the parties agree to end the lawsuit. Settlements are reached following negotiations between both attorneys, who consider the severity of the allegations, the evidence gathered during discovery, and other factors.
Having a Trial
Cases that can’t be settled are decided at a trial if an issue of fact needs to be decided. The trial stage is when both parties present their witnesses and evidence to a jury, which determines if the Plaintiff must be compensated and how much.
Before the trial starts, the jurors who will hear the evidence must be chosen. During jury selection, attorneys ask potential jurors to evaluate whether or not they can observe the case impartially and fairly.
Opening statements are the first part of the trial. The lawyers then present their evidence and discuss their points. Witnesses are then questioned about their understanding of the case following these statements. The attorneys will then have a final chance to talk to the jury throughout closing statements.
The judge will then proceed to read the jury instructions after the attorneys have finished their closing statements. These instructions provide the jury members with an explanation of the laws at issue in the case and information on how they will decide the case’s outcome. The jury then exits the courtroom, and the verdict is announced by the judge.
Should You Sue the Police Department?
Bringing a lawsuit against a police department is challenging but not impossible. You may be thinking whether pursuing the police department is worthwhile. It can be difficult to set a monetary value to all of your losses if the police have violated your rights.
You may be suffering from physical injuries, anxiety, embarrassment, and f. In addition, the wrongdoing may have had a negative impact on your work and private relationships. When you have a legal claim to sue the police department, you have the right to be compensated for your injuries.
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About The Author
Krizzia Paolyn is an SEO Specialist with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. It has always been her passion to share her voice, and at the same time, to encourage other people to speak up.