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William James Atkins

William Atkins’s Answers

59 total

  • Can i sue? what kinda of attorney do i need?

    the police department recently threw a flash bomb and some sort of granade bomb at my neighbors house and it destroyed side of my house and his they evacuated all my neighbors exept me nd my kids nd a newborn they fixed the house and paid for dama...

    William’s Answer

    I respectfully disagree with the prior post. The nature and extent of any claim depends upon the entity involved. So, for example, if the Gwinnett PD did this, your claims would be thought to pursue at all because there is no basis for a successful negligence claim against a county. On e othe hand, I'd the City of Lawrenceville PD did this, you maybe able to bring a claim under state law, provided that you file an ante Litem notice within 6 months of the incident.

    With that said, if ou signed a waiver of other claims, you would be precluded from filing suit. Second, the circumstance leading to the use of the flash bomb would dictate the value and viability any claims.

    I encourage you to seek the advice of an attorney who regularly brings claims against government entires.

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  • How long do I have to file a tort claim in Georgia against a government employee?

    I want to know how long do I have to file a tort claim against a government employee in the state of Georgia?

    William’s Answer

    The time limitations depend upon the nature of the claim and the public entity that employed this person. As a general rule, a tort claim under state law against a govt employee is subject to a two year statue of limitations. That is also true of most ( but not all) federal claims in the civil rights context. (Employment discrimination claims are excluded from this response).

    If you intend to sue a city, county or state govt, as well as e individual, you must file an Ante Litem notice within 6 mo (city); 12 mo (county) or 12 mo (state). You must follow specific guidelines to preserve these claims.

    Finally, you should be aware that the govt entity will be entitled to sovereign immunity in many instances and the individual employee will claim official immunity.

    I encourage you to speak with a lawyer with experience handling claims against govt entities.

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  • Can the police force they way in your home if you don't welcome them in?

    the person was at home with family and heard a knock at the door there was 4 police officers there. one officer asked the person's wife is everything okay and she responded yes they then pushed the door open and after pushing the door in ask if it...

    William’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I doubt you will find any of these responses helpful. As a general rule, the police can only cross the threshold of the home (ie a doorway) with a search warrant; an felony arrest warrant if the subject of the warrant lives in the house and it is his house; consent or exigency circumstances.

    Based upon your limited description, it would appear the police believed they had exigent circumstances. For example, if they were responding to a domestic call (could have been placed by a concerned neighbor who heard shouting, etc.). Whether they acted reasonably is the issue.

    If owner or renter of the property would ave standing to challenge this in court. Your friend should immediately contact a criminal defense lawyer. Once the criminal charges and ICE hold are resolved, he may wish to further explore the civil rights issues.

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  • Is it legal for patrol officers to sit at exit ramps at night sideways, with takedown lights, alley lights, spot lights on?

    I was traveling a portion of Interstate 75 and approached and exit around 11:49 pm, to find a local police officer sitting sideways at the on ramp , with his takedown lights, alley lights, spot light, and high beam headlights on facing the cars tr...

    William’s Answer

    The officer must have reasonable suspicion to believe you have committed a crime, (includes traffic offenses) to pull you over. That is a very low standard. He cannot prolong the traffic stop any longer than necessary to investigate the traffic offense. Without more information, I cannot tell you whether you have a civil rights claim. At a minimum, ou should report the officer to the internal affairs division of is department.

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  • What evidence must a police officer have to arrest a employee accused of theft by his supervisor?

    was arrested by police, supervisor showed him a copy of a receipt I returned a item for a customer two months prior. policy was followed. there was no footage, video, or eye witness to a crime. supervisor never showed the officer the item I was ac...

    William’s Answer

    The discrimination case (absent something you haven't mentioned) is not the way to go at all. You may have a good false arrest claim against your employer and, possibly, the officer. Those claims depend upon having the criminal charges dismissed. If you do a pre trial diversion program, or anything like that, you will have no claim. You should contact our firm immediately. We would be happy to discuss your case with you. We have had a great deal of success bringing these claims in Georgia.

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  • Can I sue the university police

    I attended a college party and there was an altercation with a gun. The guy who had the gun got arrested and confessed. People said the guy got out my car however no one said I had any involvement with the situation and no one have any statements ...

    William’s Answer

    I disagree (respectfully) with the responses you have received. The circumstances you have described may give rise to a civil rights claim for false arrest under federal law and/or state law, depending on wether you were attending a private university or a public one. The standard for swearing out an arrest warrant is probable cause. LEO had access to your criminal history, so they should have known whether you were convicted of a felony. It is a separate crime to carry a weapon on school grounds, so your ability to file a lawsuit would tern on the evidence supporting the fact that the gun was yours. Most civil rights attorneys will take a case like this (if it has merit) on a contingency fee basis. We have filed and had success in cases of false arrest against UGA police and Clark Atlanta University. Feel free to call our office for a consultation.

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  • What is the sentence for simple Battery - Family Violence (Misdemeanor) and alsoGiving False Name, Address or Birthdate to a Law

    my friend was locked up and she is also on probation

    William’s Answer

    As Noah Pines noted, the actual sentence will vary based on jurisdiction, specific facts of the crime, prior criminal history (especially if it involves the same victim), etc. As both offenses are classified as misdemeanors under Georgia law, the maximum sentence for each offense would be 12 months in custody (county jail, not state prison) and $1,000 fine.

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  • Can the Cobb County Sheriff's Office be sued for invasion of privacy and unreasonable search?

    There was a search warrant for my arrest and confiscation of all my computing equipment because of an alleged claim that I stole data from somewhere (that was already settled). However, since I had a keylogger, I noticed that on the day after the ...

    William’s Answer

    Your question raises potential civil rights issues related to the scope of the warrant. Without reviewing the language of the warrant itself, it is nearly impossible to offer an informed response. As a general rule, if the search exceeded the scope of the warrant (as set forth in the Affidavit), the search may violate the 4th Amendment. If you can establish a violation of the 4th Amendment (either as described above, or in some other manner) you may have a viable claim under Federal law. While it is true that any public official may assert the defense of qualified immunity, it is not accurate to say that the defense bars all suits against public officials. I encourage you to discuss this matter with an attorney who specializes in civil rights matters.

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  • Can I sue Douglas Police Department in Douglas, Georgia?

    I was incarcerated for 5 months and charged with armed robbery with no physical evidence and tried for it. I beat the charge but I was innocent from the start

    William’s Answer

    "Beating" the charge doesn't get you anywhere. The issue is whether the officers responsible for your arrest did not have probable cause to seek an arrest warrant. In fact, the practical standard is slightly lower because, in order to overcome qualified immunity, you must establish the absence of arguable probable cause.

    Our firm specializes in civil rights matters. If yu wish to discuss this matter further, please call our office.

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  • I want to sue Cobb county and got the facts and is a winnable case against them and some of the police officers. Please read

    The police in Cobb County violated the disabilities act against on 5 occasion and I want to find someone with the guts to sue Cobb County and the police officers in their personal and official capacity along with the county for a clear violation o...

    William’s Answer

    The ADA does protect employees who have been subjected to discrimination or retaliation by their employer. However, the ADA's protections do not end there.

    The ADA also requires equal access to government facilities, including police vehicles and jail facilities. But your question is far too cryptic to help me understand what your issues are. If you care to give a more detailed summary of your situation, I may be able to assist you.

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