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  1. #1

    Exclamation False Police Report Filed Against Me Resulting in Criminal Charges

    I live in Missouri and am not only a paramedic, but I work as a federal employee. Not sure what the stipulations are on being a public figure but I consider myself one and a criminal lawsuit (if convicted) could potentially hurt my job.

    This question involves some explanation prior to being asked so bear with me. I am being accused of property damage, a class B misdemeanor, and am being prosecuted by the state. The incident in question involved several accusations made in a police report filed by my ex-fiances new girlfriend on the day my attorney had him served with custody/child support court summons. In the deputy officer's report it states that the woman he lives with said "since you are serving him with her papers I want to file a report against his ex-girlfriend (me)". The property that was supposedly damaged was a motorolla cell phone. The new girlfriend stated in her police report that I picked up the phone and threw it into an oak entertainment center, smashing it into several pieces. I did not committ this offense, nor did I touch her phone.

    Initially I was unaware of the charges brought against me and missed the first court date and due to having a failure to appear because I never recieved notice, a warrant was issued for my arrest. I calmly walked into the police department and turned myself in as soon as I knew about the warrant, posting a $400 cash only bond. I have no criminal record prior to this.

    I have hired an attorney to represent me in this matter and his retainer has cost me $1000 to date. The accusations made in the police report are completely false and groundless. I believe it to be an act of pure retaliation and nothing more. However, I have incurred many legal expenses plus the expense of traveling over three hours for court due to having moved from the county and stress at work due to being afraid my job could be terminated if grounds are found for conviction. My attorney made a motion for discovery as soon as I retained him and I have recieved a copy of the discovery from the prosecutor's office as well. The girlfriend of my ex took photographs of the "damages" to go with her statement. These photos include one of the "broken" cell phone lying in a perfect pile next to the oak entertainment center and the couch. The pictures are completely staged, in as much as the furniture was not in the position photographed on the date in question when I was at the residence to collect my son.

    My question to you is this: Due to having a false report filed against me and incurring the heavy legal fees and traveling fees, also losing time at work and being unable to regain the accrued hours of sick time and annual time off normal given to me for working my regular shifts, am I eligable to file for defamation of character or any other legal action against this woman for her blatant attempt at retaliation against me? Please help, I am still currently trying to get through this case and pray that the courts see the nature of this person by her actions and rule in my favor. Any comments, facts or opinions are appreciated.

    This court case has been the cause of considerable stress in my life and countless sleepless nights as well. Please help me sleep at night again and protect myself from this person and help protect the next potential victim of her lies.

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

    Default Re: False Police Report Filed Against Me Resulting in Criminal Charges

    Defamation of character is generally not available in this situation.

    You have to wait until you are found not guilty of the charge. Then you could sue the complaining witness for malicious prosecution.

    Of course, to prevail you would need much more than your word against the other person.

    To fight the criminal charge, I would suggest the following. This could also then be used in the civil case too, if it got that far.

    You might need to get an expert witness to examine those photos and testify as to how they were staged. Also, to examine the media card and determine when they were actually taken if the photos are not date/time stamped physically. Also have your attorney subpoena the telephone records and see when the phone was last used, etc. It might well have been used after the time it was claimed you destroyed it. Or maybe that particular phone was not used at all because it didn't work and thus is worthless, which would at minimum lower the charge as it must be based on the alleged value of the phone. Also make sure that they prove the actual value of the phone as the value is an element of the charge.

  3. #3

    Default Re: False Police Report Filed Against Me Resulting in Criminal Charges

    Seriously, nobody can give me any kind of information or help with this?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: False Police Report Filed Against Me Resulting in Criminal Charges

    What am I, flipping invisible?

    What sort of "help" do you think you are going to get on a free public forum?

    You think there is some magic answer that will make it all go away?

  5. #5

    Default Re: False Police Report Filed Against Me Resulting in Criminal Charges

    What's really in dispute here is the facts; she says some action occurred, you say it didn't. That's why we have trials - so juries can listen to both sides and come up with whose version holds water. Your attorney will likely raise a huge objection to the photo - since it was NOT taken by police on the scene, there's no way to verify when it was taken, who took it, the conditions, whose phone it was, and about a thousand other important details that would make such a photo useful or admissible.

    You have already done the most important things you need to do, which is to retain the services of counsel, and point out the discrepancies in her version. Answers to the rest can't be adequately evaluated until the outcome of the case is know...there are just too many "ifs".

    The incident in question involved several accusations made in a police report filed by my ex-fiances new girlfriend
    Besides the cell phone, what are the OTHER accusations?


    Any person can sue any other person, so yes, you are "eligible" to bring a case. If you're asking us to evaluate probability of the outcome of that case, no one can answer that without having access to the police reports, and records of proceedings that haven't even occurred yet. COULD you win? Sure you could. IF you won, would you be able to demonstrate damages and an associated AMOUNT with those damages? Maybe. IF you brought a suit, would a defendant, who apparantly has a gruge and score to settle against you, be beyond issuing a subpoena for your boss, your co-workers, or other people as character witnesses or for some other purpose? Not a chance. And whether you win or lose, your personal life is now the talk of the town. Do you have any reason to believe that even if you won, you'd be able to COLLECT any winnings? Winning a million dollar suit is only worth the paper the judgement is written on until you get the money in hand, which can take years even IF the person has assets. It's one thing to want to sue for defamation, it's a TOTALLY different thing for that process to end with total exhonoration and a pocket full of cash - more often than not you'll run out of funds to pay an attorney to get the case across the finish line, the people who you're worried about finding out about the false accusations will be dragged into your personal drama, and even if you win the defamation suit, they'll remember that you were in the middle of drama, and finally, even if the accuser has some money and assets NOW, by the time you're done suing them and they've spent that money on an attorney, there's often little left to enjoy.

    In other words, before you start to pursue such thing, get the criminal case behind you. Then, decide if it's more important for you to be RIGHT or for you to be HAPPY. If the principle is that important to you, by all means, exercise your right to bring such a case. Just be aware that beinging a defamation case can be detrimental to YOU just as much as the other person, even if you win.
    Catherine NeSmith
    Executive Director
    AARDVARC.org, Inc.
    http://www.aardvarc.org

    Fave Big Bang Theory site: Sheldon Cooper Fans

  6. #6

    Default Re: False Police Report Filed Against Me Resulting in Criminal Charges

    The only offense that the state prosecutor picked up was damage to the cell phone with a value of $50.00, the warrant and subsequent bond I had to post cost more than her phone. The other offenses she sited in her police report and her written statement include "unlawful entry" which was not prosecuted. The woman had my son alone with her and was not an authorized sitter, his father (at that time) had not been proven the father by paternity and so was only seeing the child because we had an agreement that ONLY family members would watch our son. I realize that this may sound strange to you but I have a restraining order on the man for putting a gun to my head...believe me it's necessary...his gf has a hx with drugs and alcohol. Other accusations included putting a cigarette out on the carpet in the home, yet the gf claims there is no damage to the carpet and the photo shows a butt lying on top the fibers of the carpet with no damage. She also claims that I did "donuts in the yard as I left", I drive a front wheel drive SUV which is near impossible to get a donut out of...not to mention the ruts in the yard are consistent with my ex driving across the yard to go through the gate to get to the barn. The date and time stamp on the photos is also in question at this point because on the day I was there to collect my son I arrived slightly before 3pm, her photos are time stamped with 2:14 and 2:24pm. There is no way she took those the day I was there...the furniture was also arranged on completely opposite sides of the room from the day I was there.

    In digging into this woman's background I am discovering many things that make me believe I am not her first victim. I have also discovered that she usually gets her way in these instances. This needs to stop and if it means I have to be the one to do it I will. I have a high moral and ethical personal code and don't understand why someone would continually do something like this to other people. I simply cannot wrap my brain around the concept.

    I was wondering, and maybe you can help...am I considered a "public figure" because of my job? I know that defamation for public figures has to prove actual malice, not that it would be hard to do, but didn't know if that would apply to me.

  7. #7

    Default Re: False Police Report Filed Against Me Resulting in Criminal Charges

    Quote Quoting paramedicmom
    View Post
    The other offenses she sited in her police report and her written statement include "unlawful entry" which was not prosecuted.
    OK, that part makes sense.

    The woman had my son alone with her and was not an authorized sitter, his father (at that time) had not been proven the father by paternity and so was only seeing the child because we had an agreement that ONLY family members would watch our son.
    None of it was based on a court order pursuant to paternity or visitation, so it's really legally irrelevent. He broke the agreement, but you have no way to hold him to it or punish him for it, other than not putting the child under his care again. If you want such agreements to be BINDING, head to court and get a judge to put it in writing.


    I realize that this may sound strange to you but I have a restraining order on the man for putting a gun to my head
    And you WILLINGLY put the child into his care???????????? Before you even THINK of doing this again, Google the term "removal for failure to protect" - and realize that putting the child in this situation when you're not legally obligated to do so, can shed a very dangerous light on your decision-making when a court considers the best interest of the child.


    ...believe me it's necessary...his gf has a hx with drugs and alcohol.
    And he has a history of putting a gun to your head, but you still turned the child over to his care. Now which of those do you HONESTLY think a court will be more concerned about? NOT the GF.

    Other accusations included putting a cigarette out on the carpet in the home, yet the gf claims there is no damage to the carpet and the photo shows a butt lying on top the fibers of the carpet with no damage.
    They'd have to file a civil suit and sucessfully sue you in civil court for that damage if they wanted to pursue that matter. I wouldn't count on that happening, but stranger things....


    She also claims that I did "donuts in the yard as I left", I drive a front wheel drive SUV which is near impossible to get a donut out of...not to mention the ruts in the yard are consistent with my ex driving across the yard to go through the gate to get to the barn.
    Apparantly police agree, or at least feel that there's no way to prove which ruts you made or which were already there. A dead issue it appears.


    The date and time stamp on the photos is also in question at this point because on the day I was there to collect my son I arrived slightly before 3pm, her photos are time stamped with 2:14 and 2:24pm. There is no way she took those the day I was there...the furniture was also arranged on completely opposite sides of the room from the day I was there.
    If your attorney is worth a dollar, the photos should be relatively easy to discredit, if they are even admitted into the case.


    In digging into this woman's background I am discovering many things that make me believe I am not her first victim. I have also discovered that she usually gets her way in these instances. This needs to stop and if it means I have to be the one to do it I will. I have a high moral and ethical personal code and don't understand why someone would continually do something like this to other people. I simply cannot wrap my brain around the concept.
    The bottom line is that SHE is only involved at all because she's with HIM, and you've WILLINGLY given him access to the child. Since paternity hasn't even been established yet, you're doing so willingly, for some reason that I can't get MY brain around (and I suspect the judge or even CPS won't get THEIR brains around it either). If he wants access to the child, make him bring a paternity suit, THEN ask the court to order that visitation be SUPERVISED and to NOT include the GF. That shouldn't be a stretch for the court to order, but even that won't last forever - eventually one must expect that dad would eventually "earn" his way to unsupervised time with the child. If and when that happens, unless the GF has some questionable behavior toward the CHILD, she won't be barred from the child if the father allows them to be together.


    I was wondering, and maybe you can help...am I considered a "public figure" because of my job? I know that defamation for public figures has to prove actual malice, not that it would be hard to do, but didn't know if that would apply to me.
    Nope. You're a public employee. "Public figures" might be equated with celebrities, politicians, or personalities who are widely known via widely followed news events, the media, sports, etc. Unless you're the public information officer for your department, or a chief or other position where you are regularly interviewed or would otherwise be known by a substantial portion of residents in your community who have had no direct interaction with you, you don't qualify.
    Catherine NeSmith
    Executive Director
    AARDVARC.org, Inc.
    http://www.aardvarc.org

    Fave Big Bang Theory site: Sheldon Cooper Fans

  8. #8

    Default Re: False Police Report Filed Against Me Resulting in Criminal Charges

    Since the date of the incident that I'm being prosecuted for I have established paternity through the courts and his father is court ordered to receive supervised visitation until he completes anger management, in-patient alcohol treatment, and a psych eval with med compliance. The only reason he had my child prior to the restraining order is because I had no idea I had a choice since there was no paternity established. I was simply doing what I felt a moral obligation to do, I have no intention of keeping my son from seeing his father. I believe that the child should have the benefit of a father in his life. Since the restraining order has been modified to allow for contact concerning the child, the father has also made it clear he has no intention of following anything set forth in the parenting plan and refuses to pay child support or visit our child. The only reason I have to contact him is concerning our son's medical issues...most of which are benign but still warrant a phone call be made to keep him informed.

    As for the case at hand, my lawyer is trying to schedule a conference with the prosecutor to point out the things I've mentioned in earlier posts and try to get the case dismissed. If he cannot get a meeting witht he PA then I'm set to go to trial after our next pre-trial conference May 13th of this year. The attorney I hired has a good reputation in the county I have to attend court, hoping he is able to do what he needs to. I just don't want this woman to do this to anymore people. I want to know how to take legal action and make her stop, even if it's only taking her to court for lost wages and having the PA take her to court for filing a false police report.

  9. #9

    Default Re: False Police Report Filed Against Me Resulting in Criminal Charges

    I think me and you are 2 souls...too far apart. Also in a similar situation. Vengeful people trying to find a way to get rid of us. You're not the only one.

    All I can add is hope the best for you. My pre-trial is just a few days away from yours.

    I would say lets cross fingers, but with all the evidence we have to prove that our accusers are LIARS, there's no need for lucky charms.

    I also find it petty that they are making you go thru all this over a cheap cellphone. Is there not more important things in life for the courthouse? Yet when someone smashes into the side of a car, snaps your neck and spine and then drives off, there's nothing they can do about it without a face of the driver.

    Makes you wanna do a new world order, doesn't it?

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