Yes. The questions which must be answered affirmatively, assuming your case was dismissed, is was there a basis for your being arrested? Was your detention overdone? Did they refuse to provide necessary care to a pregnant mother ? etc. Assuming they had no legitimate basis for detaining you, the next issues are what if any damage did you suffer. Hre issues such as how long you were kept in detention and what proximate damages occurred. The matter seems ripe for a suit for false arrest and denial of civil rights.
You should definitely speak with a lawyer...this is more of a civil issue, but from the facts you have presented, it is likely that you have a case.
Talk to a civil lawyer immediately. You have 90 days to sue the city and if two months have run, you don't want to lose your claim. You may have a decent case.
These are tricky cases. There is a law that allows a retail store to detain someone suspected of shoplifting. If there is surveillance, I would want to take steps to preserve it as that may be the key to the case. Being merely present when someone else commits a crime is not a crime but I suspect the store will claim that you were acting in concert. Hire a lawyer ASAP and serve a Notice of Claim on the City within 90 days of the incident to preserve your right to sue the City. That said, if there is a case it will likely be against the store. When you say the criminal case was dropped do you mean dismissed or you accepted an ACD?
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 17 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
Yes, you have an excellent suit. I've successfully settled suits with far less sympathetic plaintiffs. You have one year to sue the store, which is the liable party, not the police since they were acting on the representations of the security personnel.
If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice nor creates an attorney client relationship which requires all the details and a personal conference.