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S. Huband, Esq.
S. Huband, Esq., Attorney
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I was a assaulted by a police officer in my local municipality

Customer Question

I was a assaulted by a police officer in my local municipality on August 13 2014. Can I still sue
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the opportunity to assist you.
Q) Can I still sue?
Probably not. It's likely that your suit is time barred.
PA Code Chapter 55, Title 42, section 5522 gives us the answer:
"§ 5522. Six months limitation.
(a) Notice prerequisite to action against government unit.--
(1) Within six months from the date that any injury was sustained or any cause of action accrued, any person who is about to commence any civil action or proceeding within this Commonwealth or elsewhere against a government unit for damages on account of any injury to his person or property under Chapter 85 (relating to matters affecting government units) or otherwise shall file in the office of the government unit, and if the action is against a Commonwealth agency for damages, then also file in the office of the Attorney General, a statement in writing, signed by or in his behalf, setting forth:
(i) The name and residence address of the person to whom the cause of action has accrued.
(ii) The name and residence address of the person injured.
(iii) The date and hour of the accident.
(iv) The approximate location where the accident occurred.
(v) The name and residence or office address of any attending physician.
(2) If the statement provided for by this subsection is not filed, any civil action or proceeding commenced against the government unit more than six months after the date of injury to person or property shall be dismissed and the person to whom any such cause of action accrued for any injury to person or property shall be forever barred from proceeding further thereon within this Commonwealth or elsewhere. The court shall excuse failure to comply with this requirement upon a showing of reasonable excuse for failure to file such statement."
As you can see, the general rule is that you have to give notice to the government of your intent to sue within 6 months of the injury. That would have been around February 13, 2015 or thereabouts.
However, the very last sentence says that the court shall excuse the failure to file the notice of intent to suit for "reasonable excuse." It's possible that the reason why you've delayed could be a "reasonable excuse."
But as I read the statute, you MUST file the lawsuit within 12 months of the injury, i.e. by August 13, 2105, no matter what. I wouldn't wait too much longer to file.
I hope my response has been helpful. If you have follow-up questions or concerns on this topic, please ask. I'll get back to you as quickly as I can, although I may not be online at the moment you respond.
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Best wishes to you, Customer