Police officers are not above the laws they enforce. They must give due regard to an individual's civil rights. Unfortunately, civil rights violations by police officers are not uncommon. One of the most common of these is false arrest. A false arrest can happen when a police officer arrests someone without probable cause. This violates federal civil rights law as well as state common law. At Phillips & Associates, our civil rights attorneys pursue justice on behalf of New York City residents who have been victims of false arrest.Holding Law Enforcement Accountable for a False Arrest
If you are the victim of a false arrest by the NYPD, you can sue the police officer who arrested you under the federal civil rights law 42 U.S.C. § 1983 or under state common law.
False arrest claims brought under § 1983 are connected to the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. A false arrest is the unreasonable seizure of someone's person. A seizure is considered unreasonable when there is a lack of probable cause to support it. In other words, a police officer must have facts and information that are sufficient to reasonably believe that the person to be arrested committed a crime. Probable cause does not necessarily mean that the person must later be found to be guilty.
The remedies available in a Section 1983 claim may include actual damages, compensatory damages, punitive damages against the individual police officer, and attorney's fees. You may be able to sue for false arrest under state common law, which allows a remedy directly against a municipality. There are strict prerequisites to suit under New York General Municipal Law § 50-e, including the requirement that you provide notice to the city within 90 days of the false arrest. Under state common law, you can use the doctrine of respondeat superior to hold the city vicariously liable for the police officer's misconduct.Discuss Police Misconduct in New York City with an Experienced Attorney
If you are subject to a false arrest or other police misconduct in New York City, you may need the help of a civil rights lawyer. At Phillips & Associates, we offer knowledgeable representation for people whose civil rights have been infringed upon in all five boroughs of the City, including the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens. Contact us at (212) 248-7431 or through our online form.