Courtroom

 CIVIL RIGHTS

Police Misconduct, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Discrimination, Employment, Fair Housing, Privacy Law, Sexual Harassment.

Police misconduct refers to inappropriate conduct and illegal actions taken by police officers in connection with their official duties. This miscondct can result in death or serious injuries. 

POLICE MISCONDUCT

WRONGFUL DEATH.  Police misconduct refers to inappropriate conduct and illegal actions taken by police officers in connection with their official duties. This misconduct can result in death. Alabama law defines a "wrongful death" as one that is caused by the "wrongful act, omission, or negligence" of another. Wrongful death occurs when someone dies as a result of the legal fault of another, government official.Alabama Code § 6-2-38

Alabama’s Wrongful-Death Statute
A personal representative of a descendant can bring an action under the Alabama’s wrongful-death statute, Ala. Code 1975 § 6-5-410, and recover punitive damages for “the wrongful act, omission, or negligence of any person, persons, or corporation” that caused the decedent’s death. 

What happens when the victim survives?
Victims can bring negligence claims against police officers if the officers were negligent in attempting to carry out their duties. Under a doctrine known as “vicarious liability, their employers are also liable. 

What happens if the injury is not a physical injury, but a violation of a constitutional right?
A violation of a constitutional right is also an injury and civil actions can be brought against the police under Section 1983 of the Reconstruction Civil Rights Act. This act gives victims the right to sue state government employees and others acting "under color of state law" for civil rights violations. PLEASE NOTE; Section 1983 does not provide civil rights. This Act is a means to enforce the ones that already exist.

SEVERAL POSSIBLE CLAIMS UNDER SECTION § 1983

Civil action for deprivation of rights

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer's judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the

Common Constitutional Violations Under Section 1983

Fourth Amendment 

Unreasonable Search and Seizure 

False Arrest/False Imprisonment

Excessive Force

Excessive force Jail based claims

Police Pursuits

Fourteenth Amendment 

Malicious Prosecution/convictions

Evidence Tampering

Eight Amendment

Treatment/Conditions of Confinement 

Denial of Adequate Medical Care

Failure to Protect from Attack  

Failure to Protect from Suicidal Action

Section 1983; Death or Injury Resulting from Police Conduct During A Mental Health Crisis

Often, the victims' estates and surviving family members can file federal lawsuits under 42 U.S.C § 1983. These lawsuits are complex, but successfully won against cities and the city's police officers. 

Possible Statute Violations under Section 1983 (involving disabilities)


 Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”)
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (“Section 504)


The ADA and Section 504 prohibit discrimination against an individual on the basis of the individual’s disability. Discriminatory conduct may entail the police department’s failure to make reasonable modifications in its policies, practices, or procedures when modifications are necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability.
For instance, failure to call a crisis intervention team for assistance or failure to wait for a crisis intervention team.

ADA Mental Disabilities

Depression
Bipolar disorder /manic depression
Schizophrenia
Panic, anxiety and stress disorders
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Obsessive compulsive disorder
Traumatic brain injury

WHO CAN BE SUED? 

City/County Government

Victims of government official misconduct, specifically police brutality, can be sued through through the police department, which is typically the formality. For example, victims can sue the City of Birmingham instead of the Birmingham Police Department.

Law Enforcement

Victims of police brutality can sue Law enforcement officers and their supervisors for any injuries and/or violations of your constitutional rights. 

The Mayor of the City 

Victims of police brutality can also sue the mayor of that city. 

What needs to be proven?

To survive a section 1983 claim, the person must prove:

1. The conduct was committed by a person acting under color of state law, such as as local or state authority; and 

2. The conduct deprived the person of a constitutional right.