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Can I sue the city police department in Texas? I was arrested about 6 weeks ago.

Dallas, TX |
Filed under: Civil rights

I have reason to believe the detectve in charge of the case had a personal vendetta against me and/or was asked to do a favor for someone (the "victims"). I can explain in better detail if needed. Anyway,charges were terr threats, 2 counts. The charges were refused by the prosecutor after only 6 wks. I hired an attorney but she didn't even have to talk to anyone before it was tossed. The problem I have with all of this is: I was arrested w/in a day or two of the alleged incidents,bail was set very high for class A misdeamonors- $25K & the other @ $15K, the detective personally threatened me behind closed doors that he would "get more witnesses" & keep filing charges against me & I was never even questioned until in jail. I have proof on tape of my innocence on the days in question. HELP!!

Attorney Answers 1


A strong civil rights case requires much more than factual innocence, a decision not to file charges by the prosecutor, and a lack of pre-custodial interrogation.

It is also unlikely to mean much that the detective made some hard-ball statements that he would "get witnesses." Think about it for a moment: he threatened -- not to beat you to a pulp-- but to get witnesses against you. There's not a lot of firepower in the fact that he threatened to do what he is legally responsible for doing.

Also, nothing about your bail will be in the factual mix in this potential case as the granting of bail was an intervening judicial act and the court is entirely immune from suit.

I answered your previous post before I read this one. I previously answered that I was concerned that you do not have the necessary skill or the facts to bring a successful action here. Having now read this post, I strongly recommend that you pursue a different track. You should consult with a really skilled criminal defense attorney to determine if there are any statutory procedures available to you to clean up your criminal history record. You want to explore all possibly available processes, including sealing the arrest record, obtaining a judicial determination of factual innocence, an order of expungement, etc. Every state has something in the nature of records-improvement remedies, but it varies from state to state. Cleaning up the record to the maximum possible extent may be the best course to limit the consequences to your employment situation from this incident.

Then you may want to file an administrative complaint against the detective with the Internal Affairs department of the DPD, and you may even want to complain about the DPD to the US Dept of Justice. Neither of those actions will put any money in your pocket, but neither will they cost you anything like the lawsuit that you are contemplating will.

There is little purpose to personally naming the detective in any lawsuit. The City will defend him and pay any judgment that you might recover.

You truly need a good civil rights lawyer to sit down with you and go through a detailed factual analysis as to your proposed basis for suit.

My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.

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