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  1. #1
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    Oct 2009
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    Default How to Sue the County Goverment

    My question involves court procedures for the state of: California

    I was falsely accused earlier this year. I went through the whole court process and was acquitted. My civil rights were violated (4th and 14th) among many other things. I visited a civil attorney and I was told my case would be in the settlements of a multi million dollars. My problem is that he told me that it could cost me $100,000 up to the summary judgment. I don’t have anymore money after paying my defense attorney near $250,000. I was told my chances of getting pass a summary judgment would be only 25%, after that everything would be in our favor. The attorney was looking for some type of “malice” for my arrest, unfortunately there is none that we can find. Is there another angle to up the odds in getting pass a summary judgment, is there attorney’s that would take this case on contingency. Please Help….. I’m filing a Tort Claim this week.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How to Sue the County Goverment

    If your lawyer believed the case was worth millions he would have taken it on a contingency fee or referred it to a lawyer who would do so. Why didn't he?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How to Sue the County Goverment

    This attorney says it is a very complex case and is looking at the malice angle. He says it's very, very hard to sue a government agency. He's concerned that it will be lots and lots of work and there is too much risk that it will be thrown out at summary judgement because of the level of standard for malice. I was wondering about different angles since there was confirmatory bias, extreme neglegence and incompetence. He seems very stuck on malice but concerned it's too hard to prove that with government. He likes the case but it's complex and hard to prove malice. He will negotiate a lower cost up front, but still near $100,000 and then only take a 25% cut. He may also refer me to someone who would do contingency only.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2007
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    9,085

    Default Re: How to Sue the County Goverment

    Unless someone is willing to take a contingency only deal, you really don't have a case.
    All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.
    - Mark Twain

  5. #5
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    Jun 2009
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    California
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    Default Re: How to Sue the County Goverment

    Is this attorney in private practice or with one of the large firms? If the former, it may simply be over his head. For a case of this size, I would go to a large firm with the resources to deal with it. If 3 of them tell you they will not take it on contingency, that would indicate a low probability of winning.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2009
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    Key West, FL
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    2,350

    Default Re: How to Sue the County Goverment

    $100,000 up to a summary judgment! That is insane. The lawyer sees a sucker with more money than sense. It would cost perhaps a few thousand to do a complicated complaint, but the pleading standard these days is to write minimal pleadings. He could write a complaint and summons, have it served and it could be dismissed by summary judgment in a few months after the answer is filed where the county claims sovernign immunity.

    You are talking about malcious prosecution, and you have no case without proving malice on the part of the authorities. That is next to impossible. The only way a malcious prosecution case would work is against private citizens who make a false complaint and you can prove the complaint was false. And I do not mean your testimony. You would have to catch the complaining witnesses in perjury in the trial based upon their previous testimony in depositions. This is extremely difficult to do.

    Negligence and incompetence are irrelevant. The county owes you NO duty to be competent. Those are not grounds for a civil action. That will do you no good.

    You should research yourself the standard of prove of malcious prosecution in your state. There are at least 5 different elements to the tort which must be proven. It is virtually the most difficult tort to prove that there is. I know what I am talking about because I have won a malcious prosecution case in that they realized they would lose in trial and settled after mediation.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How to Sue the County Goverment

    Found attorney that is more then willing to take the case on contingency. He told me that we can go after the sheriffs office and deputies that were involved, but thought that the DA might have some immunities making it tough to go after him. Any ideas how to get around these so called immunities? Isn't it his responsibility to see that deputies get the proper training for investigations that they do? He withheld sculpatory evidence, never provided the investigating deputy that did my case with any training (he had none). DA’s that use their powers and gamesmanship tactics should be banned from the court rooms!

  8. #8
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    Oct 2008
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    Washington comma the Great State of.
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    Default Re: How to Sue the County Goverment

    Quote Quoting Hogster
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    Found attorney that is more then willing to take the case on contingency. He told me that we can go after the sheriffs office and deputies that were involved, but thought that the DA might have some immunities making it tough to go after him. Any ideas how to get around these so called immunities? Isn't it his responsibility to see that deputies get the proper training for investigations that they do? He withheld sculpatory evidence, never provided the investigating deputy that did my case with any training (he had none). DA’s that use their powers and gamesmanship tactics should be banned from the court rooms!
    The prosecuting attorney, whatever you call it where you are, isn't an extension of the police department. Nor is the police department subordinate to the prosecuting attorney. Granted, they each require one another, but their functions are separate.

    The immunity of which your attorney speaks, I imagine, is qualified immunity. In order to overcome this qualified immunity you will generally have to show that the prosecuting attorney acted contrary to well-established law. For instance, that he falsified some evidence in contravention to well-established law. The details for your area are undoubtedly different, but qualified immunity can be hard to get around for the simple fact that most prosecutors work in good faith. As such, courts protect them certain things provided their conduct is at some minimally defined level.

    I'm curious though: you have an attorney who is pursuing this case. Presumably, he's in your area and familiar with your local laws and court procedures. Why not ask him about it since he has far more information than any of us has?

    A court is as much a place for the admission of evidence as it is for theater. After all, the idea of a trial is to convince someone that your side of the case is the proper interpretation of the evidence. This requires strategy.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How to Sue the County Goverment

    Quote Quoting ashman165
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    I'm curious though: you have an attorney who is pursuing this case. Presumably, he's in your area and familiar with your local laws and court procedures. Why not ask him about it since he has far more information than any of us has?
    Posting questions on this form are just a way for me to stay involved with my law suit. I don't want to pester my attorney.......specially since he's taken it on consignment. He's the one that told me about the immunities the DA has (I would not of known about these unless we talked about it).

    My hopes are I can find something online on some case law or a forum where I can discuss a particular code section that we might be able to get in the backdoor of a lawsuit.... so far these forums have been very helpful.

    If the DA wasn't so dishonest I wouldn't even pursue this, but someone needs to stop him so we can keep innocent people and/or people that can't afford legal representatives out of jail.

  10. #10
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    Oct 2008
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    Washington comma the Great State of.
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    Default Re: How to Sue the County Goverment

    Quote Quoting Hogster
    View Post
    Posting questions on this form are just a way for me to stay involved with my law suit. I don't want to pester my attorney.......specially since he's taken it on consignment. He's the one that told me about the immunities the DA has (I would not of known about these unless we talked about it).
    Well, regardless of the financial arrangement for payment for his services, the point remains that he and you have agreed to some set of conditions whereby he is your legal counsel in the case at hand. This means that he has a duty to you, the client, to present the strongest possible argument(s) to support your claim(s). Also, all of the work he does on your behalf is open to you. So, asking him questions about what x could possibly mean for your case is an appropriate question he shouldn't have any problems answering. Now, you don't want to be a nuisance by calling him 12 times a day to ask questions.

    So, the alternative is to compile a list of what you think are the important questions, or the things he's told you which you don't fully understand and whenever you and he next talk, just quickly run down the list of concerns. It's probably wise to just listen to what he says, take notes and then do some research on your own so you can next time ask better questions. Some attorneys even enjoy knowing that their clients are interested in the totality of what's going on but have the common sense to do basic research so that they can ask pointed, relevant questions.

    My hopes are I can find something online on some case law or a forum where I can discuss a particular code section that we might be able to get in the backdoor of a lawsuit.... so far these forums have been very helpful.
    I hope they continue to be helpful, but you'll have to understand that we speak here in generalities, by and large. It's not because we're obtuse; we just simply lack the necessary information to properly analyze any situation. Your attorney, on the other hand, has access to all of the actual information of relevance and will be in a superior position to answer specific questions about your case in your jurisdiction under those judges in that area.

    If the DA wasn't so dishonest I wouldn't even pursue this, but someone needs to stop him so we can keep innocent people and/or people that can't afford legal representatives out of jail.
    Just because someone can't afford legal representation doesn't mean they can't commit a crime and shouldn't be punished.

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