Saturday, August 18, 2012
Excessive Force Cases
We get a number of calls about potential excessive force cases. However, we only are able to take on a handful of these cases each year for a number of reasons. A couple of observations we would like to share and some factors that we consider when we evaluate a case: 1. In Alabama it is very tough to pierce the veil of immunity that the State and the Counties are afforded. While the standards of immunity for municipal governments is lower it still can be difficult. 2. We generally only file excessive force cases in Federal Court.Generally, Federal Court cases are more expensive. 3. Law enforcement officials often fail to follow procedure in using force but unless there are quantified physical damages it makes it a very difficult case for us to handle and receive any sort of settlement for our clients. 4. It is very hard to have a successful case without witnesses to the action. If someone witnesses an action it is recommended that you obtain all their contact information immediately. 5. These cases take months to investigate before we can make a decision as to if a lawsuit is warranted.