Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    1

    Default How Do I Subpoena Police Video

    My question involves police conduct in the State of: oklahoma

    I was passing through Oklahoma when I was pulled over. My car was searched without my consent, i was threatened and repeatedly lied to. Of course the police found nothing, since I had done nothing wrong, but left extensive damage to the outside of the car. I need to know the process for issuing a subpoena to the department of safety records management. Do I need a lawyer to do this, or can I find the paperwork online?

    By the way, I am looking to subpoena the video from inside the police car that shows the officers searching without consent or reasonabl suspicion.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: How Do I Subpoena Police Video

    You can not issue a subpoena without an underlying civil action. You have no authority to issue a subpoena.

    All states have a state version of the Federal Freedom of Information Act, and you can issue a FOIA request to the police agency for the video recording. You can also request a copy of the radio traffic and any data traffic from the squads.

    In Florida such a request does not have to even be in writing, but when dealing with police and other agencies, it should be in writing as a practical matter.

    I have found that not all police cars have video systems and sometimes they are turned off. Chances are though there is video.

    Usually they just email the files to me at no charge. However, they can charge a fee as allowed by state law.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    14,887

    Default Re: How Do I Subpoena Police Video

    A subpoena can issue as part of a court action. Have you filed suit against the agency? Have you made a claim for damages? The agency may very well record over the tape if you wait too long. A local attorney in that state will know how to preserve the tape in case of future action (assuming a recording was actually made).

    Understand that the damages might be such that this is a small claim action and not one that you can or should use an attorney for. If your car has been damaged, submit a claim to your insurance company and let THEM deal with the damages and collecting from the police.

    And, of course, if you intend to sue for a violation of your rights, be prepared to have the money up front and hope that a judge sees the search unlawful as you appear to.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  4. #4

    Exclamation Re: How Do I Subpoena Police Video

    1. Reporting to your insurance company is probably not a good idea. there is a good chance that they will not pay for repairs and raise your rates.

    2. Going to small claims court is probably not a good idea. It is likely that: (i) the police will have some version of the facts (true or not) that legally absolves them; and (ii) the trier of fact is highly likely to believe the police over you (unless you have video).

    3. As always, consulting an attorney is the best idea.

    4. Assuming that you are not consulting an attorney right away (even though you should consult one), here is the letter you should write to the police department immediately:

    Dear [town] Police department:

    My name is [name]. My address is [address]. My telephone contact number is: [phone]. My email is: [email]. My car is [make, model license number]. I was stopped by police on [date] at approximately [time] at [address of stop]. I am considering legal action based on that stop and/or actions taken at that stop. Please:

    (i) do not erase or destroy or otherwise tamper with any video and/or audio of the stop (including any recordings of things that happened before and after the stop) because it is likely to be important evidence in any legal action I may choose to bring and all of these recordings (if any) should be preserved for that reason;

    (ii) if any recordings as described in the previous point (i) would otherwise be destroyed in the normal course of your business, do not do that in this situation to avoid the possibility of spoliation of evidence now that you have been put on notice (by this letter) of the special significance of these recordings; and

    (iii) if possible make me a copy of any recordings as described in point (i), above, so that I can best evaluate my next steps.

    Sincerely,

    [stopped guy]

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    14,887

    Default Re: How Do I Subpoena Police Video

    Unless the value of the damages is extensive, this is a matter that WILL be in small claims court and, generally, no attorneys are allowed. Plus, if in another state that will make it an expensive proposition. I had a similar incident (not involving the police, however) simply on another side of the state and the cost to attend small claims court on the other side of the state far exceeded the value of the damage, thus, I made the claim to my insurance company, my rates were not raised and they managed to wring at least my deductible out of them.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  6. #6

    Default Re: How Do I Subpoena Police Video

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
    View Post
    Unless the value of the damages is extensive, this is a matter that WILL be in small claims court and, generally, no attorneys are allowed. . . .
    I don't know the rules of Oklahoma, but generally small claims court is an option for the plaintiff, not mandatory. Assuming it is merely an option in Oklahoma, it is probably a bad option in this particular case.

    Also, I am not sure why you are focusing so heavily on the compensatory damages. I would venture a guess is that what the OP really wants is for the police to stop doing this to himself and others, and that is more a matter for injunctive relief and punitive damages -- again, making small claims court a poor option.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    14,887

    Default Re: How Do I Subpoena Police Video

    Quote Quoting Buddy Hinton
    View Post
    I don't know the rules of Oklahoma, but generally small claims court is an option for the plaintiff, not mandatory. Assuming it is merely an option in Oklahoma, it is probably a bad option in this particular case.

    Also, I am not sure why you are focusing so heavily on the compensatory damages. I would venture a guess is that what the OP really wants is for the police to stop doing this to himself and others, and that is more a matter for injunctive relief and punitive damages -- again, making small claims court a poor option.
    Lawsuits tend to be about money and not about loftier goals. If it is truly about some loftier goal and he has the money to make it happen, great. But I doubt that he is going to get an attorney to take this on a contingency basis, so I strongly suspect that he is going to have to pay for this one himself if he wants to seek something more than compensation for damages. But, that is his option.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  8. #8

    Exclamation Re: How Do I Subpoena Police Video

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
    View Post
    Lawsuits tend to be about money and not about loftier goals. If it is truly about some loftier goal and he has the money to make it happen, great. But I doubt that he is going to get an attorney to take this on a contingency basis, so I strongly suspect that he is going to have to pay for this one himself if he wants to seek something more than compensation for damages. But, that is his option.
    Be that as it may, going to small claims court is not a smart approach at all.

    First and foremost, that court will not hear his section 1983 claim, which is his strongest claim, and maybe even his only real claim.

    Second, the police department is probably going to have a lawyer there, or at least someone who deals with legal issues on a full time basis. (assuming they don't just send a letter to the court asking to dismiss for OP's almost certain failure to follow notice of suit law).

    Third, he won't get discovery, which means it would be the OP's word against the police officers' word, which means he loses.

    If the OP wants to minimize his money losses, he should definitely not sue in small claims. I hate to say it, but I almost get the feeling that you don't have the OP's best interests at heart in this thread, and are more interested in protecting the police and their alleged practices.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,276

    Default Re: How Do I Subpoena Police Video

    I get the feeling that you actually consented to the search (in which case, you would have no case).

    Otherwise, you would have a case, violation of your rights .. & you have damages??

    You could file a case and then file a protective order right after filing (same day) to insure the tape is not destroyed or altered.

    I would not put in my complaint that they lied to me or threatened me (why put in stuff that you would have to prove??) ; only list the facts that support your claim that they violated your rights against an unlawful search.

    A simple, short complaint ... maybe a common law or statutory cause of action. With a common law case, your attny fees may not be payable, so look for a statue that may offer relief (even if you intend on going pro se, things might come up to prevent it --- it will be a long process, ~ 3 yrs maybe). May be under federal & state constitutions ... if so, list them both.

    The video would not need a subpena --- just list it in a discovery request.

    A video tape is likely not going to help you to be honest unless it recorded that you announced that they cannot search.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Similar Threads

  1. Pretrial Procedure: How to Get Access to See a Police Video Without Paying for a Copy
    By Tyler321 in forum Criminal Procedure
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-06-2011, 12:01 PM
  2. Speeding Tickets: How to Subpoena Police Video for Traffic Court
    By rockcaud in forum Moving Violations and Traffic Tickets
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-05-2010, 06:33 AM
  3. Pretrial Procedure: Do Police Have to Show Me a Copy of Video Evidence if I Ask to See It
    By kl7198 in forum Criminal Procedure
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-10-2008, 01:16 PM
  4. Criminal Investigations: Filing A Late Police Report When There Is A Video
    By Another Demise in forum Police Investigations
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-21-2007, 11:51 PM
  5. Police Conduct: Recording audio or video of police actions
    By miliamber in forum Police Investigations
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-07-2006, 10:42 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
 
Forum Sponsor
Criminal Defense Attorney
Protect your freedom. Consult a criminal defense lawyer for free.




Untitled Document