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What are the procedures when you are suing the sheriff/police dept...and the timelines in between those procedures?

Sanford, FL |

i was falsely arrested and charged with resisting officer w/o violence on feb 2011 but during that arrest i was injured i suffered a broken tibia and fibula and was immediately rushed to surgery as a result from the officer applying force to my leg as i was on the ground. on sept 2011 the state filed nolle prosse/ and dismissed the case
....the question now is where do i go from here?

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Attorney answers 3


This is a very complex variety of litigation. You may have a better excessive force claim than you would a false arrest case. The State may have dropped he charges because at trial you would testify about the broken leg. If the court found that he police had probable cause to make an arrest, you would not make it past summary judgment on that count. However the broken bones definitely sound as if you can successfully make a claim for excessive force. It sounds Le the police violated FDLE use of force guidelines. Feel free to contact me for a free consultation. I bet three pepper corns this officer has been sue in the past. | The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Florida. Responses are based solely on Florida law unless stated otherwise.



thanks alot...


As you may imagine, many people would like to, and have tried to, sue the police, the city, and any and all other form or function of government. As a result of all that litigation, and the government being in a pretty good position to protect itself, a very arcane and somewhat labyrinthine series of procedures, rules, and timelines have developed. They simply cannot be explained here.

You'll need to see an attorney, preferably one with experience in this type of litigation.

I suggest you keep careful track of timelines of what's occurred up to now, names and ID's of who did what and when, keep receipts, medical records, etc. to assist that lawyer. Also, there are statutes of limitation on bringing suit, so see a lawyer, or lawyers, sooner rather than later.

Good luck.

The above is provided for educational purposes only and is not legal advice nor makes you a client of the Mosca Law Firm, PA. Please consult with a lawyer in order to obtain confidential legal advice that is tailored to your specific situation and facts.


Generally, for a false arrest claim, the statute of limitations begins to run from the date of arrest. The same goes for an excessive force claim. If you were to pursue your claims as a Section 1983 Civil Rights claim, the general negligence statute of limitations for the state in which the incident occurred would apply. In Florida, this would be a 4 year statute. Be aware that there may also be other state law claims against the office, and the various state statute of limitations may vary on those depending on if the claim is for an intentional or negligent act. For state law claims, you may have to comply with sovereign immunity laws which might require giving the government notice of your claim. In Florida, you have 3 years from the date of the incident to file your notice of claim on the state law claims. This area of the law is very tricky and the litigation can be time consuming and highly expensive. I would advise you immediately seek out and consult with a lawyer that has experience in handling this type of claim. We regularly handle both false arrest and excessive force claims and know from experience that law enforcement is loathe to admit when they make a mistake and will fight tooth and nail.

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