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Old 08-10-2012, 16:12   #1
cowboywannabe
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protection from a citizen review board?

if a city has a citizen's review board which disagrees with an internal investigation, and the city has been cleared of criminal wrong doing as was their employee, can they still be sued civilly?

i ask because of the caslte doctrine in many states which make a person immune from civil suit if their shooting was cleared criminally.

if there is such a statue or case law please advise what states it covers.

ive found nothing.

thank you.
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Old 08-10-2012, 16:23   #2
blueiron
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The Castle doctrine does not apply to on duty police. Can the officer/deputy/trooper, along with their employer, be sued if no criminal charges are brought? Absolutely.

See the Rodney King incident and the subsequent Federal civil rights suit as an example.
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Old 08-10-2012, 16:48   #3
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When your employing department or outside agency clears you of any wrongdoing, that means an investigation by competent trained professionals determined that your actions did not violate the law, or department police, rules, regulations, etc.

When in spite of that finding, a citizens' review board still finds fault with your actions, it usually signified that an inquiry by untrained non-professionals resulted in a philosophical difference over how you handled the matter, (i.e., while we don't have a working knowledge of your profession, nonetheless we think you should have handled things a different way.) Often the expectations conveyed by such review boards are contrary to the law, common sense and the very training you were given as an officer. You can only take comfort in the fact that these findings were made by people who have no knowledge of police procedures, who were not there to see, hear and feel what really happened, and unlike you, had days to casually reflect upon what might have been an appropriate course of action when you only had a few seconds to decide matters. Most laughably, they will never be held accountable for their decisions or threatened with jail or law suits if they turn out to be wrong. In short, their findings make for good headlines but usually carry little legal weight.

Here are some things to consider.


You can always be sued, no matter what the finding. Whether the party suing you will win is another story.


In most states the law usually requires a government employer to provide an employee with free legal defense if they are sued for an act committed within the course and scope of their duties.

If a government employee is sued for an act committed within the course and scope of their duties and loses, the law in most states requires the employing agency to pay actual damages on behalf of the employee.

If a government employee is sued for an act committed within the course and scope of their duties and loses, the law in many states allows the employing agency to pay punitive damages on behalf of the employee.

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Old 08-10-2012, 16:59   #4
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Let me put it this way, you can be sued for anything to include frivolous suits, until the judges get tired of it.

It's the biggest reason I can think of for liability insurance.
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Last edited by Hack; 08-10-2012 at 16:59..
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