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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 90484
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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How do I find an attorney that will file a civil case against

Customer Question

How do I find an attorney that will file a civil case against a Texas Law Enforcement Officer? At time of incident, 5 years ago, victim's next of kin was unaware of the atrocities involved,and is only now willing to file a civil suit against either the law enforcement personel involved, entire dept.or state (aware of 2 year statute of limitations) Case involves death of victim, officer's violent work history,depraved indiffernce to human life, withholding medical attention, destroying evidence' and the police video tape (edited by police,showing several law enforcement officers walking around burn victim on ground, talking about entire incident and incriminating themselves, thus proving acusations
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 5 years ago.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this potential lawsuit seems extremely unlikely to be successful.

 

First, as you mentioned, the statute of limitations has long since run. Absent some creative way to get around the time limitation, the case has been lost before it was ever even filed.

 

The next problem is that law officers are protected by what is called qualified immunity, meaning that they cannot be sued so long as they were reasonably acting within the scope of their duties. While your statement clearly indicates the officer was NOT acting reasonably within the scope of his duties, this can be difficult to prove.

 

As to locating an attorney, you should research a few in your area that take on suits involving law enforcement. As you might imagine, this is a fairly small group of attorneys. Additionally, you may need to look slightly outside of your immediate area. The reason for this may be obvious, many attorneys are unwilling to sue police officers within their immediate area. Regardless, the Texas State Bar Association has a website, it is located at www.texasbar.com.

 

With just a bit of research, you should be able to find an attorney that handles such suits and that would be willing and able to thoroughly analyze your situation.

 

I hope my information proved helpful. If so, please click the green ACCEPT so that I may receive credit for my efforts. Your question will not close and you will be permitted to follow up, if necessary. Positive feedback and bonuses are not required but greatly appreciated. Thank you and good luck!

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

You haven't provided any new information for me.

Another lawyer involved with prosecuting law enforcement was trying to answer before you were connected. I'd be more interested in hearing from him.

Expert:  Joseph replied 5 years ago.

I'm sorry you feel that way and I suspect most attorneys would provide the same information I detailed above. Regardless, I will opt out and see if any other experts can assist you.

 

I wish you the best of luck!

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Your previous expert was right regarding a civil tort claim against the law enforcement agency regarding their qualified immunity and the two year statute of limitations which you would not be able to circumvent. HOWEVER, you do have another possibility here and that is a claim for CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS, which have NO STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS. But, to proceed with a civil rights violation you would need to prove that they acted unlawfully in violation of his civil rights under the color of law. It seems based upon the facts you have provided that causing his death, the history of violence and if you can demonstrate the actions against him by the officer were not justifiable based upon the situation, then you can have a good civil rights claim. The problem with civil rights claims is that they are very difficult and handled only by a small group of attornies and can take a very long time to pursue. You need to start by finding a civil rights attorney in the area and this can mean interviewing numerous civil rights attorneys since they take on so few cases at one time and the best place to find one is the same site used by other attorneys to locate attorneys when needed, http://www.martindale.com

You can also file a civil rights violation criminal complaint through the FBI and US Attorney's Office for criminal investigation if you choose.

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Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 90484
Experience: Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
Law Educator, Esq. and 6 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

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