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I need a lawyer for a civil rights case.

Columbus, GA |

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

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You can use Avvo's "Find a Lawyer" tool above or contact your local bar association for a referral.

Ms. Berjis is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The laws of your jurisdiction may differ and thus this answer is for informational and educational purposes only and is not to be considered as legal advice. Since all facts are not addressed in the question, this answer could change depending on other significant and important facts. This answer in no way constitutes an attorney-client relationship.

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Posted

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.

This response is provided for informational purposes only. It is not a consultation and is not legal advice. You should not act or fail to act in reliance upon the information provided in this response. This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship between you and our Firm. You should always consult with an attorney prior to taking any action with regard to a potential legal problem.

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This is not the forum to find a lawyer. Use the Find a lawyer tab on this website.

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You have come to the right place. Avvo has a great "find a lawyer" tool to locate a top-rated Avvo attorney with a low contingency fee.

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