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William James Atkins

William Atkins’s Answers

59 total

  • I tripped over a concrete parking block at a high school graduation there were no lights in the area

    Landed on both hands and knee jacked my hip up 15 mm in a lot of pain ,back ,knee and wrist,what should I do? I am going to a chiropractor now.

    William’s Answer

    You may have a claim for a "trip and fall" against the owner of the parking lot and/or the company responsible for maintaining it. However, lighting is only part of the issue and not the most significant one. You would have to show that the parking block was a hazardous condition, i.e. it was somewhere you wouldn't expect it to be, it was bigger or marked differently than ADA regulations require, etc. You would also have to show that the defendant had greater knowledge of the hazard than you did.

    Generally speaking, if you are only receiving treatment from a chiropractor, you may have trouble finding a lawyer who is willing to help you. If you are seriously injured, you should seek treatment from a doctor.

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  • Can a Deputy Ban you from a county without any paperwork? Also nothing was signed.

    The Sheriff Deputy just told my brother he couldn't come back to the county until his court date but nothing was signed or given to him. He did go back into the county and is now being charged with being in the county

    William’s Answer

    Based upon the limited information you have provided, the situation you described does not make much sense. A deputy sheriff (or any other law enforcement official) does not have authority to "ban" any individual from a county. "Banishment" from a county or particular geographic area may be a condition of a criminal sentence entered by a court.

    I suspect there is more to this situation. If you need further assistance, you should contact either a Georgia civil rights or criminal attorney listed on

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  • I need a lawyer for a civil rights case.

    I was the victim of excessive use of force by the sheriff

    William’s Answer

    Without more information, it is not possible to provide you with a meaningful response. I do practice in this area of the law, so I will try to provide you with some general information. If the use of force occurred during the course of an arrest, your claim would arise under the 4th Amendment. The standard would be whether an objectively reasonable officer confronting the same circumstances would believe that the force used was necessary to accomplish a lawful purpose. Factors relevant to that analysis would include the severity of the crime at issue; whether you were attempting to escape; and the level of threat/force that the officer was confronting.

    The officer(s) involved are entitled to raise the defense of qualified immunity. Assuming you can establish a constitutional violation (see above) they would still be immune from suit unless pre-existing law gave them fair warning that their conduct violated the constitution. Finally, Georgia sheriff's are immune from suit in federal court in their official capacity because they are considered state officials under applicable circuit precedent.

    As you may gather from this response, civil rights claims are unique and complex. You should only consider hiring an experienced civil rights attorney who has successfully represented individuals against the police in the past.

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  • I was illegally arrested and incarcerated for 48 days in 2007 in the gwinnett county jail in Lawrenceville Georgia. can I sue

    in 2007 I was arrested and incarcerated and then released 48 days later. I have proof of this. a lot of proof. numerous emails from a probation officer that got fired for bringing it to he boards attention that I was in fact not suppose to be ther...

    William’s Answer

    I have handled a number of cases similar to the one you describe. If this occurred in 2007, it is virtually certain that you have missed the statute of limitations to bring a cause of action under either State or Federal law.
    Often, the judicial system contracts with a private company to offer probation services if the underlying matter was a misdemeanor. You had 2 years to file a lawsuit against that company. If the underlying matter involved a felony, probation is run through the State Department of Corrections. You had one year to file an Ante Litem Notice under the Georgia Tort Claims Act.
    If the error was made by a clerk employed by a County or Municipality, you may well have had a claim for breach of a ministerial duty but that claim was also subject to a two year statute of limitations. If you had a claim against the County (unlikely given sovereign immunity) or the City (possible if they purchased liability insurance), you had to file an Ante Litem Notice within 12 months (County) or 6 months (City).
    Finallly, your federal civil rights claims, if any, were also subject to a two year statute of limitations.

    These statutes of limitation began running when the claim "accrued" i.e. became actionable. That day likely was the date you were arrested.

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  • Misconduct From Personal Injury Attorney

    I have unveiled the largest conspiracy in the state of Georgia in which my PI attorney was not only representing me, but also representing my employer. Isn't this a conflict of interest? I have endured ongoing harassment, defamation, misrepresenta...

    William’s Answer

    As you describe it, representing two clients with adverse interests, even if representation of the employer is not in a current matter, could be a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct. It may be a conflict that can be waived, but notice must be given to both clients. I hasten to add that the situation you describe seems pretty far fetched; you should be 100% sure you've got your facts straight before you make such an allegation against a lawyer or firm. If you have those facts, you should terminate the firm's representation and file a complaint with the State Bar of Georgia. They will investigate your complaint and determine whether any violation of the Rules occurred.

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  • I was rob at gun point in my apartments beat real bad an the rent office aint help me we what should I do already call the polic

    I walk threw ask for change for a ten the guy gave a five a said hold on then said come rite qiuck I did he shut and lock it as he went to the back of their house to I notice to other guys on the sofa as he came back and we exchange the money one ...

    William’s Answer

    It sounds as though these people live in your complex. First of all you should immediately call the police. I'm a hot concerned as to why you didn't do that in the first place. Once you have done that and appropriate action has been taken by the authorities, you may consider having a lawyer investigate whether these individuals had a prior criminal history. Most apt complexes run background checks on tenants and all complexes have a duty to provide adequate security.

    It is possible that you may have a claim against the apt complex although, under Georgia law, the claim would be subject to the new apportionment statute.

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  • Am I entitled to compensatory damages and negligence against DeKalb County Jail?

    When he was sent. to a yr in the county jail he informed them that he had keratoconus. They put him in population while he did his time literally with his eyes closed. Other inmates stole from him and fought him. Due to the contin. lights in DeKal...

    William’s Answer

    Tough to answer this one without more detail. Among other things, the case would be subject to different legal analysis depending on whether he was sentenced to serve more than one year, i.e. he was in State custody; or less than one year, i.e. he remained a County inmate. If he served all of his time in DeKalb Jail, I assume he was a county inmate. If so, individual jailers can only be held liable if they demonstrated deliberate indifference to the inmate's known medical needs. The deliberate indifference standard presents a very high bar, but it is not insurmountable with the right facts. Some of the facts you describe suggest that there may well be an actionable claim here under applicable Federal law. State law generally offers no recourse, although DeKalb County does use an independent company to provide medical services. It is sometimes possible to bring a medical malpractice action against such a company under state law. I would encourage you to speak with a qualified civil rights attorney as soon as possible. These cases are subject to strict time limits.

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  • I was in an accident and suffered a fractured rib and kidney injury. My husband suffered shoulder injuries.

    he has had surgery on one shoulder and is schedule for surgery on his other shoulder. The insurance company is telling us that the driver of the other vehicle only had 25,000 coverage. The other driver was also drunk and arrested at the scene. We ...

    William’s Answer

    No it is not true. Your friend is confusing liability coverage (the driver who hit you) with Underinsured/Uninsured motorist coverage that you should carry on your insurance policy.

    Check your policy and see what your UM limits are. You will then need to check with your insurer (have them send you a document) as to whether you "waived" stacking of your motor vehicles on your insurance. If you did, then you are limited to the UM coverage you had on the car that you were driving. If you did not waive "stacking" and more than one vehicle is insured under that policy, you can "stack" the coverage.

    For example, if you carry $50k in UM coverage and waived stacking, then you would be able to access $25k in additional coverage over the $25k paid by the other driver's insurance (you can only collect UM coverage over the amount of the at fault driver's insurance). If you did not waive stacking and have three vehicles insured on teh policy, you would have $150k in UM coverage and $125k in coverage over the at fault driver's insurance.

    Finally, I would not take the insurance company at its word that the at fault driver only has $25k of insurance. I would strongly encourage you to speak with a qualified personal injury attorney right away. It sounds like your husband suffered serious injuries. You need to be sure that you access all the insurance that is available to you.

    Our law firm handles personal injury matters like these in Georgia.

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  • Did the Police do anything wrong when they shot my son 3 times when he was running away from them?

    My son is a felon and news report is stating my son had a gun. The new media said that he held the Police around his neck and attempted to take his gun. The new media stated that my son was stop by the police as person of interest. The news me...

    William’s Answer

    Police misconduct matters - deadly force cases in particular - are among the toughest cases around. In general terms, the facts you have offered here may possibly give rise to a claim under either Georgia law, federal constitutional law, or both.

    Under your version of the facts, the underlying stop - person of interest - would be most analogous to a Terry stop, meaning that the police had reasonable articulable suspicion to briefly detain your son. If your son responded by offering violence to the officers, that would give them probable cause to arrest him for obstruction. If he had a weapon, particularly a gun, the officers are allowed to respond with force that is at least one step higher on the force continiuum from the threat they are facing. So, if your son had a gun, they would be authorized to use deadly force to respond to the threat.

    Once he runs away (and depending on whether he was still armed or the officers had reason to believe he was armed), justifying the use of deadly force to stop him may be harder for the officers. Officers are only authorized to use deadly force to prevent the escape of a dangerous fleeing felon or someone who continues to present an imminent threat of bodily harm to the officers or others.

    I would strongly encourage you to contact an attorney who specializes in police misconduct matters and has previously handled a police shooting case. There are several good lawyers in Atlanta who practice in this area. They include Cary Wiggins, Albert Wan, Craig Jones and Bryan Spears. Our law firm also handles these matters. You can learn more about us on our website or my page on

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  • Can I sue the police department for false arrest?

    When my husband told them that I had taken a lot of pills, even though I denied it and my blood pressure was fine, the police handcuffed me, put me in the back of a police car and took me to the hospital. The hospital found that I was okay and rel...

    William’s Answer

    As to the initial detention (home to hospital) no. The police had a duty to accept your husband's statement and take you to e hospital. I do not understand why you were then charged with obstruction. Based only on the limited information you provided, it does not appear that the office had probable cause to arrest you, but I am guessing that there is more to the story.

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