Under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, an individual has the right to be free from the unreasonable seizure of his or her person. This occurs when an officer restrains the liberty of an individual through coercion, physical force or a show of authority. A person’s liberty is restrained when, under all of the circumstances, a reasonable person would not have felt free to ignore the presence of law enforcement officers and to go about his or her business.
In general, the seizure of a person for an investigatory stop (Terry Stop) is reasonable if, under all of the circumstances known to the officer at the time, the officer had a reasonable suspicion that the person seized was engaged in criminal activity, or conduct justifying investigation, for example a traffic infraction, and the length and scope of the seizure was reasonable. If the officer acted unreasonably, the victim will likely have a claim against the officer for police misconduct. Contact one of our unreasonable seizure lawyers today.
Time is of the essence as there are statutes of limitations applicable to all civil claims against governmental agencies, and their employees, such as police officers and sheriff’s deputies. For claims based upon federal statute (42 USC Section 1983 claims) there is a two-year statute of limitations in California. For California State law claims, such as California Civil Code 52.1 claims (a California statute which includes recovery of damages for federal civil rights violations), and claims for assault, battery, and negligence, it is mandatory to give notice of your intent to file a lawsuit to the individual police officer’s employer. This has to be done no later than six months following the incident during which the injury occurred. Unless filed in a timely manner you will forever lose your ability to file a lawsuit for damages.
Call to speak with one of our unreasonable seizure attorneys in Riverside, San Bernadino or Orange County.
Represented client injured by custodial staff while in prison. Case settled for $500,000 before trial.
Represented client injured by custodial staff while in jail. Case settled for $335,000 before trial.
Represented client subject to unreasonable search and seizure, and then subject to excessive force, being Tased by a police officer. Case settled for $400,000 before trial.