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Ameer N. Benno
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Ameer Benno’s Answers

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  • Why aren't there any attorney's in upstate NY that are willing to handle cases involving police brutality?

    Have had complications with health since being beaten within mm of life by police basil skull fracture multiple eye socket fracture two broken ribs and numerous scrapes cuts and contusions

    Ameer’s Answer

    It is an unfortunate reality that many attorneys in small towns and villages upstate are reluctant to take on the local or state government when it comes to prosecuting cases involving police misconduct and constitutional violations. Most of the time that is because these attorneys believe that suing the local police department will "rock the boat," and in some way threaten their livelihood. Many attorneys from the larger cities in NY do travel throughout the state to represent people who have had their constitutional rights violated. Retaining a lawyer from a "big city" such as NYC may be a good idea for you, since attorneys from the larger metropolitan areas usually have more experience litigating police misconduct cases, given the larger police forces in the cities from which they hail, and they would have little concern about ruffling the feathers of your town's local police force. Moreover, the benefits of modern technology (email, text messaging, Skype, etc.) have all but erased the benefit of having an attorney whose office is geographically close to you.

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  • 1) Is dismissal a nullity or does is count against savings statute. 2) Do dismissed appeals factor into the statute.

    If a refiled case using the savings statute is dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction due to an errantly filed appeal which is pending , is that dismissal a nullity. How long after not filing notice of appeal will it take to hav...

    Ameer’s Answer

    Each of the Appellate Division Departments has its own set of rules setting the time limitations for perfecting appeals. The rules are different for civil and criminal cases. Usually, if an appeal has not been perfected by those deadlines, it will be automatically dismissed by the court on default. You haven't given any details about your particular case, so in the abstract, you should be careful about waiting the appeals process if you have an approaching statute of limitations on the case you want to refile. By the time the deadline for perfection rolls around, you may be time barred from refiling. If you are the one who brought the appeal, you can discontinue it any time you want. If you are the respondent, you might want to consider moving to dismiss the appeal (if it hasn't been perfected within 30 days of the filing of the notice of appeal). Appellate practice, and appellate motion practice, is really a specialized field, so you should consult with an experienced appellate practitioner without delay. Use Avvo's "Find a Lawyer" tab to find one. Best of luck.

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  • Should i appeal my original criminal case when i was subject to extreme mental dures.

    I went home the day after my father died and found my signifacant other cheating on me with a fourteen year old girl. I fought with the young girl and kicked her out of my house. My signifacant other then drawed a knife and i managed to get the we...

    Ameer’s Answer

    It is generally a good idea to file a notice of appeal if for no other reason than to have an experienced appellate attorney review your case and come to a conclusion whether there are appealable issues. You have 30 days from the date of your sentence to file a notice of appeal. If you don't file the notice of appeal within that time frame, Criminal Procedure Law Section 460.30 provides that you have one year and 30 days from the date you are sentenced to move for an extension of time to file the notice of appeal (although it's not automatic that you'll get the extension; the court, in its discretion, can deny such a motion). If you timely filed the notice of appeal, but did not perfect the appeal within the time period required by your Appellate Division Department, you can usually move to vacate the dismissal of your appeal (within a reasonable period of time) and have it restored to active status. If your conviction and sentence took place years ago, you likely will be deemed to have waived your direct appeal, although various types of "collateral attacks" on your conviction might still be available depending on the facts of your case and the types of legal issues that exist. You should speak with an experienced appellate attorney without delay to explore your options. Use Avvo's "Find a Lawyer" tab. Good luck!

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  • Can you sue someone for recording you in a sexual act without your consent and distributing the content?

    I was with a guy and i was at his friend's house and we had sex and his friend recorded us without me knowing which i would not have consented to but they knew and had planned it and are now showing the video to people and i am afraid they will tr...

    Ameer’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Yes, you can sue, but in New York, the claims you can raise in such a civil lawsuit are unfortunately far more limited than would be in other states, however. In New York, unless the person is trying to sell the recording (in which case Civil Rights Law Section 51 provides a civil cause of action and possibly punitive damages), your cause of action here may well be limited to intentional infliction of emotional distress. Possibly, you could argue that a separate civil claim should be implied from the recently enacted statute criminalizing such conduct. Hope this helps.

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  • How do I file an appeal to the Supreme Court

    my wife lost her appeal and we feel she had inadquate defense and the court of appeals denied her motion i was told to file an appeal with the supreme court how do I go about doing that and is there a time limit for doing such a thing

    Ameer’s Answer

    An application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals under CPL 460.20 must be filed within 30 days after service by the adverse party of a copy of the intermediate appellate court order sought to be appealed (I point out that a motion for re-argument of the appeal filed in the 4th Department does not stay the 30-day time period).

    If you missed the 30-day cutoff, CPL 460.30 provides that you can move for an extension of time, as long as the motion is made within one year after the expiration of the time for seeking leave to appeal. You should review the Court of Appeals' Rules 500.20 and 500.21, which are posted on the court's website.

    The Court of Appeals grants leave only in very few cases, so your best bet is to retain an experienced criminal appellate attorney to give your application the greatest chance of success.

    Hope this help. Best of luck.

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  • False arrest, false imprisonment

    A prank 9-1-1 that someone was dead in my motel room led to the police busting in, dragging me out and handcuffing me. After no dead body was found I was arrested for obstruction which was nolle prossed at my first appearance hearing. I filed a pr...

    Ameer’s Answer

    What was the basis for the obstruction charge? Sounds like the cops may have a viable qualified immunity defense for the false arrest. However, if you were injured by the police in the process, you might have a viable excessive force -- or even common law negligence -- claim. Did you plead either of those? And with respect to the state-law claims, did you comply with all prerequisites to suit? There are many pitfalls, so you should speak to an attorney who is experienced in civil rights litigation asap. Good luck.

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  • Can the police department be sued

    can the police department be sued by the victim family if they pulled and individual over and they let him go. 10 minutes later an accident occured killing the other person. the person who was pulled over was charged with DUI at 0.65. if the offic...

    Ameer’s Answer

    Anyone can be sued, the real question is whether the lawsuit will be successful. And, usually, the situation you describe does not provide for a successful lawsuit. See DeShaney v. Winnebago County Dep’t of Social Serv., 489 U.S. 189 (1989). As with anything, the merits of each case turns on the specific facts.

    State actors can be liable where the government affirmatively places a particular individual in a position of danger the individual would not have otherwise faced (this is known as the "state created danger" doctrine).

    State actors can also be liable is there is a "special relationship" between the state actors and the victim. This is usually a very difficult thing to prove. The body of law on this doctrine is legion, so you must acquaint with it. In a nutshell, in order to establish a special relationship, a plaintiff must prove: (1) an assumption by the government actor, through acts or promises, of an affirmative duty to act for the victim; (2) knowledge by the government actor that inaction can lead to harm; (3) direct contact between victim and the government actor; and (4) justifiable reliance on the government actor's affirmative commitment to act.

    If anything, it sounds like your circumstance might fall under the "state created danger" category, but not the special relationship one. Of course, you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with federal civil rights law and your own state's unique laws on these cases. Don't delay, there are usually strict time limitations at play.

    Good luck.

    Good luck.

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  • Had a felony over fifteen years ago in NY. In Florida now. I want to buy a gun for home protection. What do I do?

    It was not a violent crime, I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and got grand theft I believe. Point is, over fifteen years I have a company and family now and want to be able to protect them. The clemency Florida sites don't link to the ...

    Ameer’s Answer

    You cannot expunge a crime from your record in New York. However, you can apply for a Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities, under NY Correction Law Section 700, which, if granted, would relieve you of the legal disabilities -- such as obtaining a license for a firearm -- that a felony conviction creates. If you were convicted of more than one felony, you will need a Certificate of Good Conduct, which has a similar effect to a Certificate of Relief.

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  • Animal Cruelty summon (left dog in the car)

    Hello, I have a Beagle dog, which my neighbor left to me for a few hours and I got an animal cruelty summon for keeping the dog in the car. on Aug 30 at 6:45 the weather was cloudy, temperature was 75 degrees. We stepped out to buy snaples to the ...

    Ameer’s Answer

    The NY Agriculture and Markets Law Section 353 defines animal cruelty as a Class A misdemeanor. It is a poorly worded statute with a broad sweep. The fact that the dog was not yours makes no difference.

    The statute provides that a person commits "animal cruelty" if he or she "overdrives, overloads, tortures or cruelly beats or unjustifiably injures, maims, mutilates or kills any animal, whether wild or tame, and whether belonging to himself or to another, or deprives any animal of necessary sustenance, food or drink, or neglects or refuses to furnish it such sustenance or drink, or causes, procures or permits any animal to be overdriven, overloaded, tortured, cruelly beaten, or unjustifiably injured, maimed, mutilated or killed, or to be deprived of necessary food or drink, or who wilfully sets on foot, instigates, engages in, or in any way furthers any act of cruelty to any animal, or any act tending to produce such cruelty."

    You should hire a criminal defense attorney with experience in these cases. Good luck.

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