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self defence civil lawsuite

Discussion in 'Legal' started by claytonfaulkner, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. claytonfaulkner

    claytonfaulkner Well-Known Member

    ok i was looking for any cases yall know of where someone used self defence and was either not charged with any crimes or was found innocent, but was stil sued in a civil court. ex... a many shooting someone that broke into his house and was never charged with any crimes because the shooting was in selfdefence but was sued by the family of the victum
  2. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

    Search the archives here in the Legal forum. I know there are at least two cases where off-duty police officers were sued when someone broke into their home and they used lethal force to stop the intruder.

    In one case the homeowner vacuum cleaner by the intruder and the deceased's parents sued in civil court all the way to the Court of Appeals (immediately shot down at summary judgment at both the lower court and court of appeals level).

    I have looked at this before and found at least three cases. It seems like it is more common when there are some deep pockets somewhere in the background (in this case the various PDs that employed the men were also named).
  3. Bobarino

    Bobarino member

    some states like WA, where i live have laws preventing such lawsuits. if the shooting was justified, the deceased criminal's (NOT victim's, the slayer is the victim) family cannot sue the slayer.

    if your state does not have such laws, it would be a good idea to contact your legislators and ask them to draft a bill to that effect.



    here's the law for WA

  4. claytonfaulkner

    claytonfaulkner Well-Known Member

    wow, i really like section 2 of that, maby if i was any better at writing i could write a letter to someone
  5. Flyboy

    Flyboy Well-Known Member

    Actually, Bobarino, your law applies to the cost of defense against a criminal prosecution ("found not guilty" refers solely to criminal cases; also, it says that the State will reimburse--in civil cases, it would be the plaintiff reimbursing). claytonfaulkner is looking for something like
    Subsection B concerns situations in your home ("castle doctrine"/"make my day law"), and D covers anywhere else you have a right to be ("stand your ground law").

    All in all, a nice little section of law. But I really like Washington's as well--protects you even from the state. The only downside I can see is that it gives the prosecutor incentive to have you found guilty, and he may take that a little bit too seriously. But I think it's a good law overall.
  6. Bobarino

    Bobarino member

    (1) No person in the state shall be placed in legal jeopardy of any kind whatsoever....

    civil suit is legal jeopardy.

  7. USMC 1975

    USMC 1975 Well-Known Member

    I believe many States have this law. I haven;t stayed current on which States have this clause in their law books, but it is sometimes included with their CCW laws.

    I would research the State you live in to see if this law maybe on the books there.

  8. markk

    markk Well-Known Member

    Florida's recent "Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground" law also forbid civil suits against a self-defender...
  9. DutchmanDick

    DutchmanDick Well-Known Member

    Same with Michigan.
  10. F4GIB

    F4GIB Well-Known Member

    Minnesota has it. Section 611A.08.
  11. johndeeere1979

    johndeeere1979 Well-Known Member

    West Virginia does not have it but are working hard to get it.

    check out this web site if interested www.wvcdl.org great website by a lawyer in Morgantown i belive.
  12. oneshooter

    oneshooter Well-Known Member

    Texas, God Bless Her, passed that protection in the last session. Took effect Sept.1 2007.:D

    Livin in Texas
  13. WayneConrad

    WayneConrad Well-Known Member

    I have read that the legislation giving you protection from civil lawsuits is, in some states, a scarecrow; that, in those states, it takes a grand jury's "no bill" for this protection to kick in. That means that if the district attorney's office never sends your self defense shooting to the grand jury, you are still vulnerable to a civil lawsuit.

    Is this true?
  14. markk

    markk Well-Known Member

    Re: Florida

    Quoted from http://www.cfif.org/htdocs/freedomline/current/in_our_opinion/florida-self-defense-law.htm

    See bolded comments...
  15. Sage of Seattle

    Sage of Seattle Well-Known Member

    The classic case? Bernie Goetz, the so-called "subway vigilante" of New York City fame.


    EDITED: Well, after reading it again, it seems that he was convicted of illegally posessing a pistol, but nothing else. He was sued, lost, and was ordered to pay $43 million. He filed bankruptcy and never paid apparently.

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