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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    2

    Default Incomplete Police Report - For A Simple Report

    Hello, maybe sombody can help me or discuss this issue with me.

    Briefly, in New Jersey, my 16 year old daughter got involved in a fist fight with her ex-boyfriend (18) and his younger sister (16).

    My daughter was punched in the mouth (we believe by the 18 year old boy). the sister may have lied to protect her adult brother and said she did it.

    A simple assault incident report is on file with the police against the sister. The problem is there are witnesses including myself who were never interviewed and this important info is not on the police report at all. There is much witness testimony missing.

    We went to to police deparment intending to get the report updated but basically got the run around, they didn't want to do it, and it did not get done, making it difficult to proceed with actually filing a complaint.

    My first question is, what might one do now for 'sloppy' police work and an inaccurate and VERY incomplete police incident report.

    The story goes on and on with details, but this bogus police report is my first dilemma. I also desperately do not want any further retaliation against my daughter at school. As soon as we will file an official complaint we will get one back and I am pretty sure my daughter will get attacked at school again.

    If I drop the case, they get away with it. If I proceed I am sure my daughter will get attacked again.

    Also, I was never even told how much time I have to file a complaint or it just expires.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
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    20,594

    Default Re: Incomplete Police Report - For A Simple Report

    You seem to be torn as to what you want to do.

    Assuming you want to pursue a complaint of some kind, if you witnessed the assault and were not interviewed, I would suggest you write up your statement and ask that it be included in the report. If you get the run around, speak to the investigating officer's supervisor and ask that it be included in the report. Maybe they will add it, maybe they won't.

    if you were NOT a DIRECT witness to the assault, then they really are not likely to care WHAT you have to say.

    Ultimately, however, you cannot FORCE the police to do anything. Enforcement and investigation is largely a political decision. These sorts of things tend to be low level offenses that rarely go very far if no one is injured. You have a situation where two people allege one thing and your daughter (and, presumably, you and a couple of others) who allege something else.

    A fistfight between some teens is not generally going to get the police or the DA very excited. Ultimately, this may go nowhere even if you are allowed to include the report. Unless your daughter was clearly the victim (i.e. she was standing around minding her own business and got pummeled for no reason), chances are claims of assault and battery can be made against all parties. That being the case, everyone could get charged ... or, no one. Since it will be nearly impossible to show beyond a reasonable doubt who attacked who (unless both sides agree as to the aggressor ... doubtful) it may never get to court.

    But, if it were me, I would write up my statement and obtain written statements and contact info for the other witnesses, and ask that they be included in the report. But, depending on the details, I would not expect too much in the way of a prosecution.

    You may also consider seeking a restraining order of some kind if this is possible in your state.

    - Carl

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    2

    Default Re: Incomplete Police Report - For A Simple Report

    Thank you so much for the information and advice.

    When I spoke to the Juvenile Detective last Thursday, he asked me, "Are you going to file a complaint", which would currently be on the ex-boyfriend's sister. I was still not in a completely calm and relaxed state of mind during the few days after the incident. I guess a parent can feel even more emotional pain than the child. I could have given a better answer but what I said was "It's not in my heart to do that but I have issues with the police report". Part of me wanted to pursue the matter and part of me wanted the ordeal to end.

    He told me to go see the officer who wrote the report. We did that, as described above, and got the "run-around". The officer left it with us that Juvenile would be in touch with us about it. We have not received a call yet, but only one day (Friday) has passed so far.

    What I still need to know is, Did what I say constitute dropping the complaint? Might he have interpreted it that way? What constitutes dismissing the incident on my part? This can be verbal in New Jersey I guess.

    My name is on the Police Incident Report as having grabbed the sister, which is true, because she rushed to attack my daughter again after some comments were made. I restrained the sister and moved her away from my daughter. After I let her go, I called her a "Lunatic". She became further enraged and punched me in the shoulder. I am a 46 year old adult father and was picking up my daughter up from school. I was not hurt but the police incident report gives a false impression.

    The officer who wrote the report said I was "pretty quiet" at the scene and at the police dept. when we all went down there after the incident first occurred, almost making it seem like I had something to hide, and I don't. I don't know police procedures.

    My daughter was assaulted, only one of the two perpetrators is listed (the juvenile sister and not the adult male ex-boyfriend). The whole report is only about 25% accurrate and complete.

    Even two boys saw the incident stopped to help, of their own accord, and began fighting with with the ex-boyfriend and his sister when they saw them fighting with my daughter, who was on the ground, and had a bloody lip as a result of all this (the blood drawn not being on the report either).

    When we got our copy of the police report, I see my name on it, and none of my testimony taken! This even gives grounds for them to file a complaint on me, I having grabbed the sister and "held her with my forearm". Wouldn't it be 'procedure' for the police to ask me what had happened after my name appeared as being involved???

    Can the other side play any games and file a complaint against me?, waiting until the last day to do so, or something to that effect, and I would then have lost my rights to file a complaint?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
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    Default Re: Incomplete Police Report - For A Simple Report

    Quote Quoting entwood
    View Post
    What I still need to know is, Did what I say constitute dropping the complaint? Might he have interpreted it that way? What constitutes dismissing the incident on my part? This can be verbal in New Jersey I guess.
    For misdemeanors, the policy or practice might be to only pursue the matter if the complaining party wishes it ... even then, there is no guarantee of a filing by the DA.

    You may have to contact the Juvenile division yourself and ask what you can do to pursue the case ... if that's what you want to do.

    I was not hurt but the police incident report gives a false impression.
    The police report is not evidence, it is only a collection of notes as made by the officer concerning information he was told or things he observed. If you want your statement to be as accurate as possible, write it out and then try to find out how to submit it with the report.

    The officer who wrote the report said I was "pretty quiet" at the scene and at the police dept. when we all went down there after the incident first occurred, almost making it seem like I had something to hide, and I don't. I don't know police procedures.
    He can only write about what he observes. if he felt you were quiet, then that's how he interpreted your actions.

    When we got our copy of the police report, I see my name on it, and none of my testimony taken! This even gives grounds for them to file a complaint on me, I having grabbed the sister and "held her with my forearm". Wouldn't it be 'procedure' for the police to ask me what had happened after my name appeared as being involved???
    I can't speak for "procedure" in other states or agencies. However, it would be prudent to obtain statements from all involved. However, keep in mind that if anything DID go to trial, the report is largely irrelevant as each of the parties would be called to the stand to give their own testimony. The officer would not likely even be called to the stand except to say what he saw (maybe the bloody lip, or something of that nature).

    Can the other side play any games and file a complaint against me?
    Probably.

    Though I don't think there is any deadline to make a complaint.

    As i said, I would suggest you write out your statement and then call on Monday and ask that your written statement be added to the report.

    - Carl

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