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Can I sue the police department and the Prosecutor's office for false arrest?

Kissimmee, FL |

I was arrested for violating a restraining order and for failure to appear. However, there was no injunction. The officer that took my ex-husband's report searched the NCIC system and found the same, but still filed the report for charges. In addition, even though the Prosecutor's office was notified that there was no injunction, and had evidence of the dismissal of the filed temporary injunction, they still filed the charges. As a result of this arrest, my children and I have directly suffered emotional and physical damages as well as financial loss due to me losing the job I was supposed to start. The record prevented it. What can I do? By the way, I am a low income single mother of three with a disabled child and cannot afford an attorney.

Thank you all for the responses. I sincerely appreciate it. There was no probable cause. The officer who responded to my ex-husband's call searched the NCIC system and saw that, in fact, there was no injunction. However, because they were friends, he filed the report anyway. Then, the PA's office clearly did not investigate before filing charges, because there was still no injunction. In fact, the injunction was dismissed with prejudice, which to my understanding meant that the Court felt that my ex misused the court process. The injunction hearing was in March and they did not file charges until September. The arrest was in October. After my arrest, the PD conducted an internal investigation and found the officer at fault. Does that increase my chances?

Attorney Answers 6

  1. The answer is yes you can.
    These cases are typically difficult.
    However, the fact situation that you indicate may make this case an exception to the rule.
    The standard is whether or not law-enforcement had probable cause to make an arrest.
    Also understand that law-enforcement have qualified immunity from these types of civil lawsuits.
    My firm handles these types of cases feel free to give me a call at one 800 law 5655 to gather more information.

  2. Yes you can sue. Look for a lawyer who handles "violation of civil rights". They should not charge you, but will take a percentage of the recovery.

    Good luck,


  3. You can file, but if the Court finds that there was probable cause to arrest you will not make it past summary judgment. | For confidential answers on Florida law, call 1.877.452.9457. Attorney James Regan, LL.M, Esq., is a Florida lawyer answering questions pro bono. Answering these consumer questions based on limited and unverified facts does not create an attorney-client relationship. Being posted on the internet, these questions and answers are not confidential. For confidential answers on Florida law, call 1.800.452.9357.

  4. Of course you can sue the police but there are strict rules about it and many cases are not meritorious. Of course you'll need a personal injury lawyer, not a criminal defense lawyer so start with that. Lawyers who do that kind of thing usually don't get paid unless you win.

  5. You can sue. You'll want a personal injury lawyer. If you can't find one who will take it on a contingency basis, that indicates they don't think it is worth pursuing.

    There is a high burden of proof when suing officials, but it can be done.

    You might want to repost this under the category "Civil Rights" or "Personal Injury."

    Confidential information should not be disclosed in this Internet forum. I am a Wisconsin lawyer. The laws in each jurisdiction can be very different. I cannot give legal advice over the internet nor can I establish an attorney client relationship with you. You should NOT assume or otherwise conclude that there is an attorney -client relationship between any reader and this writer or his firm. These comments are only guideposts. They are not subject to any privilege protections. Indeed, these internet communications are neither privileged nor confidential. Accordingly, those using this form of communication need to be guarded in what they write. Because of the nature of these communications the information is general only and should not be relied upon in any specific case. This internet site is public forum, where the communications are not confidential or privileged. There may very well be merit to your defense or position in this type of situation. However, there are hardly sufficient details for an attorney to provide you with some path to follow. It is imperative that ALL of the facts in a particular situation be examined. No conclusion can be drawn from the communication that you have provided. There are some matters that are just better handled by an attorney familiar with the procedures of the courts in your area. Most, if not all, legal matters should not be handled via internet communication. At best, the responders on this site can give you a few hints and guidance. To deal with a legal problem, nothing is better than to consult with a lawyer who will give you some time and advice. If you cannot afford an attorney, there should be agencies in your area that can provide discounted, or even free, legal services. Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin Talking to the Police - Advice from Lawyers and Police:

  6. I agree completely with all of the statements my colleagues have made. Difficult cases to prove. Good luck.

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