NYC Police Brutality Lawyer
If you were hurt by the NYPD, an NYC Police Brutality Lawyer can help you get justice.
The police have an incredible amount of power. We expect the police to use their power responsibly. When the police abuse their power by using unjustified violence, the damage can be life changing. Many victims of police brutality suffer permanent physical injury and emotional trauma from the police misconduct, and they can never trust the police again.
If you think the NYPD used excessive force against you, contact Cody Warner, P.C. for a free consultation. We can evaluate your case to bring forward all claims to maximize your compensation. We take civil rights on a contingency basis, which means that we get paid only if you win. You will never pay any out-of-pocket fees.
Do I Have a Winning Police Brutality Case?
The legal term for police brutality is “excessive force.” In other words, if you file a lawsuit because you are the victim of police brutality, the legal claim will be that the police used “excessive force.” A person has a strong excessive force claim when the forced used by the police was not reasonable under the circumstances.
When analyzing an excessive force claim, the court considers:
- The nature and severity of the crime leading up to the arrest;
- Whether the suspect posed an immediate threat to the safety of the officer or others;
- Whether the suspect was actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight.
If the police violated your constitutional rights by using excessive force against you, they may have also violated your other civil rights. Oftentimes, when the police use excessive force against someone, other rights are also violated. For instance, if the police used excessive force, they may have also falsely arrested you, fabricated evidence or allegations against you, or unlawfully commenced a criminal prosecution against you. These are additional wrongs, and the police should be held responsible for each and every civil right that they violated.
If you believe that the NYPD used excessive force against you, contact Cody Warner, P.C. for a free consultation. Our lawyers can assess whether you have a strong police brutality claim, and we can also determine if you have other claims to bring against the police. The more claims you have, the more your lawsuit with be worth.
How Do I Sue the Police Department for Police Brutality?
Lawsuits against the NYPD are straightforward. First, you file a notice of claim. Second, you have a 50h hearing. Third, you have settlement negotiations. Fourth, if settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, then you commence the lawsuit in court. Fifth, you go to trial, unless the NYPD provides an acceptable settlement offer.
Notice of Claim
If you want to sue the NYPD, the first step is to file a notice of claim with the City of New York. The NYPD is an agency of the City of New York, so your lawsuit against the NYPD will name the City of New York as the primary defendant.
You have 90 days after the incident to file a notice of claim with the City of New York. If you do not file a claim with 90 days, then you will not be able to sue the NYPD under state law.
However, even if you fail to file the notice of claim within 90 days, you still have 3 years to file a lawsuit that alleges constitutional claims under federal law. Excessive force is a constitutional claim under federal law, so you have 3 years to file an excessive force claim under federal law.
A primary benefit to filing a notice of claim within 90 days is that New York State law provides employer liability for excessive force claims. In other words, if you sue under federal law, you must sue the police officers individually. If you also sue under New York State law, you can also sue the officers’ employer—the City of New York. It’s always useful to have larger entities named as defendants, so it’s beneficial to serve a notice of claim within 90 days to preserve your claims under New York State law.
If you would like to file a notice of claim for police misconduct, contact Cody Warner, P.C. We can draft and serve the notice of claim on your behalf to make sure that you provide notice of all possible legal claims against the NYPD.
A few months after you serve a notice of claim, the City of New York will conduct a 50h hearing. At the 50h hearing, a lawyer for the City of New York will ask you questions about what happened to you.
After your 50h hearing, your lawyer will discuss the case with the lawyers for the City of New York. Your lawyer will explain the reasons why the NYPD violated your civil rights and why you are entitled to full compensation for the wrongdoing. During this negotiation, the City of New York will indicate how much it is willing to offer to settle the case.
You and your lawyer will discuss the pros and cons of accepting the offer. If you decide to accept the offer, then the matter is resolved. You can expect to receive your check within 90 days after the settlement offer is accepted.
Filing a Lawsuit
If the City of New York is unwilling to fairly compensate you, then the next step is to formally file a lawsuit. Your lawyer can file a police brutality lawsuit in either state court or federal court. The decision regarding whether to file in state or federal court is strategic, and your lawyer can assess your case to determine where to file your lawsuit.
A lawsuit commences once your lawyer files a written complaint in court. The complaint alleges the facts that occurred and the legal theories of why the NYPD is responsible. The City of New York will then file an answer, which typically denies the allegations.
After the complaint and answer are filed, the discovery process begins. Discovery is a legal process for obtaining evidence. Discovery includes both sides providing records, such as the plaintiff’s medical records or the defendant’s arrest records and body camera footage.
A major part of the discovery process is the taking of depositions. During a deposition, witnesses—including the plaintiff and defendants, will testify about what happened. The deposition testimony is taken under oath and recorded by a court reporter. Deposition testimony becomes part of the official record of the case, and the facts established in depositions can make or break a lawsuit.
Typically, the City of New York will file a motion for summary judgment, which is a way that the City of New York tries to get the case dismissed. In a summary judgment motion, the City of New York will argue that the Plaintiff has put forward insufficient evidence of police wrongdoing, and the judge should therefore dismiss the case. If your lawyer convinces the judge that sufficient evidence exists to support the claims of police wrongdoing, then your case can be adjourned for trial.
If your case is adjourned for trial, and the City of New York has still not provided an acceptable settlement offer to resolve the case, then a jury will decide the outcome of your case.
At trial, your lawyer will put forward evidence that shows the jury that the police violated your rights. The evidence can include testimony, documents, video footage, and even expert witnesses. The City of New York can present its own witnesses and other evidence in effort to argue that the police acted reasonably and did not violate your rights.
Once all the evidence is presented to the jury, lawyers for both sides will present their closing arguments. Your lawyer will tie together all the evidence to present a compelling account of why the NYPD violated your rights.
After closing arguments, the jury will deliberate. First, the jury will decide whether they find the NYPD officers liable. If they find the police liable, then they will decide how much compensation you should receive.
How Much Compensation Will I Get?
Your compensation is very dependent on the facts of your case. In general, the more time that you are wrongfully incarcerated, the more money you will receive. Although a common estimate is that you can generally receive $1000 per hour of wrongful incarceration, the hourly payout can sometimes be much higher.
With police brutality cases, the extent of your injuries will be a major factor that affects the worth of your lawsuit. For instance, if you were just pushed to the ground and had a bruised knee, your payout will be much less than if the police wrongfully used a taser on you.
Settlement offers typically result in lower payouts than favorable jury verdicts. However, jury trials are not without risk. First, you can never know with certainty how the jury will decide. You could have a jury that finds that the police were justified. In that event, you will not receive any payout. Further, it can take years for a case to go to trial. Even if you get a favorable verdict, the City of New York can appeal, which can delay your payout even longer. That said, if the police egregiously violated your rights, then a jury trial might be the best option for you, because a jury can reach a verdict that provides life-changing compensation.
Cody Warner, P.C. has analyzed NYPD payouts to provide a general idea of the worth of your lawsuit. Although the analysis provides a loose guide for you to understand the worth of your lawsuit, the payout for any case is tied to the details of the case. If you think you have a claim against the police, contact Cody Warner, P.C. for a free consultation. We can analyze your case to give you a ballpark figure for your compensation.