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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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can i file a charge against someone who made a false police

Resolved Question:

can i file a charge against someone who made a false police report against me
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 years ago.
Customer

In order to answer your question, can you tell me first if you were arrested and charged with a crime as a result of the report?

Is the case still pending?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No...no arrests were made. It is actually regarding my husband (we both manage a restaurant. A 16 yr old employee (or her mom not sure) filed a report accusing my husband of assault basically. She stated that he punched her 4 or 5 times. Apparently went to the hospital afterwards. In reality he had playfully poked her in her side...she was fine. The girl finished her shift and was joking and flirting with other employees clearly not harmed. This was Tues. Today the police came up twice to our restaurant. First they interviewed several of our employees bascially asking whether or not my husband had a violent temper or ever struck anyone. They also then questioned him. I dont see any charges actually going through. But this seems to me to be a disruption of work, employees and guests saw police questioning everyone. And the charges are COMPLETELY false.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 years ago.
Customer

Filing a false police report is a crime. Your husband could file a police report of his own, and perhaps the state would be willing to prosecute the employee for it. He may still be a suspect, however, so now may not be the best time to do it.

On the civil side, you can't sue her and her mother for false arrest and malicious prosecution if there was neither an arrest nor a prosecution. (If there is an arrest, however, you would have to wait until the matter was over -- it would have to end in dismissal or acquittal -- to bring a civil action. But you could talk to a lawyer about the possibility of a civil suit for defamation. I understand that there may have been disruption to your business and possibly some damage to the restaurant's reputation due to the presence of police. But your husband would also have to prove that the lies were told deliberately and out of malice, which in your fact pattern may not be easy. Again, however, this should be discussed in depth with the local civil attorney. And again the suit wouldn't be ripe to bring until your husband is no longer being investigated for the alleged assault.

_____

If I've helped, please click the green Accept button so I can get credit for my work.

This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your state for specific legal advice.

Edited by FranL on 1/2/2010 at 6:26 AM EST
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
So just to clarify....basically wait until this investigation is over and the charges/investigation against him is dropped...then either file a case with police for false reporting if we can prove malice intent...or speak with our own lawyer about sueing for defamation. and just out of curiosity how are results with this usually? we could call basically any one of our employees present that day to testify to what they saw both before during the "poke in the side" and after (her being fine and jolly)...do you think it's possible with just witnesses to prove this? i cant think of any other way to show it was completely false claims...unfortunately the event took place just out of surveillence area.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 years ago.
Good morning and thanks for your patience. I'm on the East Coast, so I'd turned in for the night by the time your response came through. I'll clarify my post of last night.

Your initial question was whether you could file charges. It is clear that you feel rightfully inconvenienced and personally and professionally embarrassed by this incident that occurred. While you may be able to proceed legally on either or both the civil and criminal fronts (you need not choose between them as they provide different remedies) I do see pitfalls with the case, and I was trying to point those out.

The first is that while your husband is a suspect on a possible criminal assault charge, the matter may not really be ripe for a civil suit. Though nothing would prevent you from consulting with a civil litigator to scope this out at this point, the full scope of the suit as well as the kinds of damages wouldn't be known until the criminal matter is disposed of. And also, if it's disposed of incorrectly (if your husband were to take a plea to anything at all just to get the case over and done with) it could cost you the suit.

The second is that the complainant is only 16. You have said that her mother was involved in the reporting. Whether her mother acted out of malice or simply believed her daughter and had no reason to know the charge was false may present problems with a critical element in both the criminal and civil arena. Defamation suits are not easy to win unless the defendant's conduct is particularly egregious and irresponsible.

The third is that for a civil suit, you have to prove actual damages. They can't be speculative. You would have to be able to show that there were people who are not coming back to your restaurant as a direct result of seeing the police question your husband on the premises, or because of the disruption of normal service during the incident on that particular day/night.

On a better note, cases -- either criminal or civil -- can certainly be proven circumstantially. So if you have a whole staff of witnesses who saw what really did happen and could testify on your husbands behalf whether he was a plaintiff on a civil case or a defendant or complainant on a criminal case, that would certainly be a great deal of evidence to assist a finder of fact (judge or jury) in a determination of the credibility of the employee.

____________

If I've helped, please click the green Accept button so I can get credit for my work.

This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your state for specific legal advice.






.


Edited by FranL on 1/2/2010 at 3:18 PM EST
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 17344
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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