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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    3

    Default Can I Sue the Sheriffs Deparment for Failing to Do Their Job

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Oregon


    we had over $80,000 in personal property stolen from our house amoung the things that were taken was a 1969 ponta fire bird valued at about $20,000 a 2010 ducati motorcycle bike worth about $10,000 and a 2014 tracker fishing boat worth $15,000. our neighbor has cameras pointed right at our front door and one pointed towards our tuff shed, vedio is recorded onto a DVR.
    our nebighour talked to a couple of the people who robbed us, and said he even called the police when he seen them trying to load up the motorcycle. When I called to file the police report we were told that the only way we could report any of the vehicle's as stolen is if we either had the title or if the title was in our name. we didn't have the titles because they stole all of our titles, and sadly my husband never transferred them over into his company's name {they were bought with company money} as his ex-wife drained the bank accounts right after he bought the car, motorcycle, and the boat and than divorced him. The following day I contacted Copart's where we had bought the boat, motorcycle, and the car, I got a copy of the bill of sale and a copy of the titles for all 3 of them. on the back of each title it showed the date he bought them and Copart's signing off the title's and my husbands company being the buyer all the paper work that you would need to take to the dmv to file for a lost title and transfer of owner ship we had. They still would not allow us to turn them in as stolen. I called to check in with the officer that was assigned our case to see if he had obtained the video from our next door neighbors cameras. He informed me that he had not yet contacted him but he would within the next day or 2. about a month later we tracked down the motorcycle it originally had been taken to a car lot just right down the road from our house. I spoke with the owner and explained the situation and he allowed me to review the video footage recorded by the cameras at his car lot. Clear as day you can see the 2 guys dropping the bike off you can see the license plate of the truck and 4 days later you can see the 2 same guys trying to hot wire the bike with no success later that same day they brought a van over to load the bike up into, and again you can see the guys and the license plate. When I told the officer about this he said since the bike was never technically stolen their was nothing their was nothing he could do. I asked him what about the fact that these guys were the ones who were at my place and stole every thing from inside my house as well not just the vehicle's but their was also about $10,000 in tools missing as well not to mention everything inside the house right down to the dishes and linens they even took our food believe it or not. at that point he suggested that they never really investigate these types of crime as it hardly leads any wear I said ok but you have video of them breaking into our place. You have a witness. He said he was sorry but they dont really have the time to investigate this type of crime. I called him back about a month and a half after they robbed us we had at that point recovered the motorcycle, and were getting closer to locating the 1969 Firebird. I had tracked down one of the kids {a 20 year old} involved and spoke with him and that lead us to the bike and in the right direction for the car.
    3 days later the kid I spoke with ended up in the hospital in a coma on life support, and we started getting messages saying if we didn't back off and let it go that their was going to be a fire in my neighborhood, another message flate out said they were going to burn our house down with me inside of it if we didn't stop looking for the rest of our stuff. Everything was done from a text now number so no way to trace it. On July 1st someone set my house on fire with me inside of the fire was started in 2 different places. the front room was engoulfed in flames I couldn't get out the front door the back door had something shoved up against it preventing it from opening the office room filled with 4 years of files from my husbands company had flames up to the cealling and the window open perfect conditions for a fire to burn. I called the officer back asking him if he was now going to get the video tape from the neighbor and the video form the car lot to figure out who else was involved in the burg at my house to try and find who set my house on fire. I was told the fire marshal had to send a report over to them befor they could open up an investigation. I showed the text messages to the fire marshal and he said he would leave it as an opened case so that 20 years from now if someone were to admit to setting the place on fire that person could be charged with the fire and that it.
    Can I sue the sheriffs department for not doing their job? Dont they have to fallow up on leads when a crime has been committed? Surley their must be something I can do to hold them accountable for their lack of investigating this hole situation

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    7,957

    Default Re: Can I Sue the Sheriffs Deparment for Failing to Do Their Job

    Quote Quoting tinker126
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    Can I sue the sheriffs department for not doing their job? Dont they have to fallow up on leads when a crime has been committed? Surley their must be something I can do to hold them accountable for their lack of investigating this hole situation
    Unfortunately you could not successfully sue the sheriff for failing to a more complete investigation. Law enforcement agencies have discretion to decide which complaints to investigate and how the investigation will be done. Law enforcement agencies do not owe a duty individually to the victims of crime but rather to society at large. What this means is that if the sheriff is not doing a good job, your remedy is to vote to replace that sheriff with someone who will do it better, not suing the sheriff for your loss. If you can identify the thieves, you may of course sue them for the loss. And, of course, if you have insurance that covers the losses then making a claim on the insurance is the fastest and easiest way to get compensated for the loss.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,940

    Default Re: Can I Sue the Sheriffs Deparment for Failing to Do Their Job

    Can I sue the sheriffs department for not doing their job?
    You can, but you'll probably be wasting your time and lots of money as the authorities have discretion in how they handle investigations and also have sovereign immunity to a great extent.

    Consult an attorney who is experienced with suing government agencies and you'll find you have little or no options there.

    I hope you had insurance on everything.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,890

    Default Re: Can I Sue the Sheriffs Deparment for Failing to Do Their Job

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    You can, but you'll probably be wasting your time and lots of money as the authorities have discretion in how they handle investigations and also have sovereign immunity to a great extent.
    The sheriff or any other employee of a state or the federal government would have qualified immunity not sovereign immunity.

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