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What action (legal or not) should I take against a police department that illegally searched my car ?

Itasca, IL |

My car was illegally searched while I was waiting, along with a co-worker, for our friend to come out of a Burger King in Maywood, IL. There was no probable cause (plain sight view, odor, or fugitive gesture rule), or traffic violation(s) to merit this action. The K-9 truck blocked me from behind while I was parked ,called for back-up, asked for license and registration, and detained us. I fully cooperated with his demands, they then arrested my co-worker for a warrant. They searched the entire vehicle (including trunk) found nothing illegal or incriminating to arrest me for. The head of the K-9 unit says "I don't want to ever see you in f#@#@ Maywood ever again." I know my 4th Amendment right was definitely violated and wish to pursue action against these police officers.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

Sorry to hear about your situation. You should contact a civil rights attorney. Claims against the police for illegal searches are brought under 42 USC 1983. These types of claims are very difficult to prevail on. Best of luck.

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Charles Schierer
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www.srtriallawyers.com. You may hire our firm by calling 1-312-888-5832. Personal Injury cases on a contingency fee basis. If we are unable to collect money for you, then you pay nothing. This answer is only general information, is not "legal advice" and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Proper legal advice can only be obtained after hiring an attorney and providing full information regarding your case.

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Posted

"I know my 4th Amendment right was definitely violated . . . "

A lawyer might not be so confident based on what you have told us. You tell us your conclusion that the police had no probable cause but several aspects of your narrative suggest that this perception is one that a judge might not share. I agree with my colleague that there are attorneys who concentrate in civil rights litigation and that you should contact one for an evaluation of your case and advice on what your options are. You could try searching for an Illinois or Cook County civil rights attorney on Avvo.

You will want to consider the timing, at least, of any action that you take. Your hope to recover financially from the police department might be a factor undermining your credibility should you have to be a witness for your friend in a criminal case.

Run this situation past a civil rights specialist. Good luck.

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Asker

Posted

What do you mean by a lawyer wouldn't be confident? It's as simple as I was parked at a Burger King waiting on a friend and was detained, there is no reason why I was searched, that's not what America is about, sir.

Joshua Sachs

Joshua Sachs

Posted

Suit yourself. It is not my case.

Asker

Posted

Thank God its not your case, with your sense of logic i'm surprised you still operate, did you pay to become a lawyer ?

Posted

You attempt a monumental task that will have to be proven by your as Plaintiff in a federal action. Although the issues you described in your opinion were actionable, it is my professional view that you have a hard case to prove.

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Asker

Posted

Nothing monumental about trying to preserve the rights I was given when I was born in this country, same flag I pledge allegiance to everyday. No more police abusing their power.

Posted

When you say "fully cooperated" did they ask for and did you give them consent to search? If you said go ahead and search, you have no cause of action. Also, what are your damages?

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Asker

Posted

If by consent you mean the officer telling me to get out of the car immediately, then that's not consent.

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