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Thread: Sue the Caller

  1. #1
    Regular Member cirrusly's Avatar
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    Sue the Caller

    We've seen time and time again police overstepping moral and legal boundaries to enforce their own "opinions." This involves unlawful bantering, detainment and arrests. Many times in the videos and police reports I've read, it is a "worried, uncomfortable, or concerned" citizen who calls the police to report the "suspicious" activity of a OCer legally and safely touting a holstered firearm. Often we blame the LEOs for their unlawful treatment during these responses to calls.

    Question: Is there any legal grounds to file a civil suit against a "911 caller" who ties up the emergency line to report "legal activity"?

    I somewhat dislike how often I resort to the "L word," however my goal is to raise awareness, and unfortunately more often than not police departments will not digest their wrongdoing unless a civil suit is filed. Similarly, if a 911 caller were sued and found guilty for a "wrongful call?" to 911, we could be certain that would catch the public's eye.
    I want to keep our founding fathers' visions and rights for this country pure. I implore you to do the same.

  2. #2
    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    You'd have a tough time proving damages....

    I suppose you can name whoever you want on the lawsuit... the real problem would proving injury to yourself. you'd have to prove that you suffered damages (arrest, incarceration, deprivation of rights, etc) and that the 911 report is the cause of that.

    the way I see it....

    1) the caller doesn't know OC is legal or illegal, but is scared, they call police and police come and drive by you or maybe attempt to talk to you but don't detain you... I don't see what case you'd have.
    2) same as above, but police with no PC of a crime detain, use force, arrest you, etc... the true problem you have there is the police not the caller.

    now however, if the caller outright lies and the police arrest you on probable cause based on the false statements of the caller.... maybe you'd have a case....

    I'm just trying to think of what precedent allows suing a 911 caller....
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  3. #3
    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    You can always sue. Will you win? Probably not. You would have to show damages. Loss of wages, something.

    Big court, $300 to $400 to file suit plus attorney fees. Small court, $50 to file, no attorney. May win.

    Bottom line, all you want is news coverage getting out the message that it is not wise to call 911 on exercising a constitutional right.

    Win - loose, you get the word out.

  4. #4
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    Years ago I talked to a local magistrate about their approach to a false-report 911 call. She said that even if I complained, they wouldn't charge the caller unless I was falsely arrested. I didn't mention OC. She didn't say it in a malicious way or anything like that, just that the magistrates weren't going to bother charging false-reports to 911 unless the person falsely reported on was arrested.

    Might be worth a call to the local magistrate to see how they might handle it.
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  5. #5
    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    however, isn't that what the policeman is trying to do

    http://www.kxan.com/news/texas/injur...-made-911-call

    ipse
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post
    You can always sue. Will you win? Probably not. You would have to show damages. Loss of wages, something.

    Big court, $300 to $400 to file suit plus attorney fees. Small court, $50 to file, no attorney. May win.

    Bottom line, all you want is news coverage getting out the message that it is not wise to call 911 on exercising a constitutional right.

    Win - loose, you get the word out.
    Likely not a case for small claims. One could always allege that the caller knew that what he/she was calling about was bogus (and make other allegations to get past a summary judgment motion) and then get some type of settlement rather than going to trial, that can cost 40K with a lawyer.

    So it would cost, pro se, about 500-1K before trial & w/o costs of depositions. I would gladly pay $500 ... because its assumed that people know the law. If they want to start calling cops making up stuff then they should pay a penalty. Sue the caller, the cops, the town. Conspiracy comes to mind...what type though ....

  7. #7
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    In the two 911 calls reporting me (that I know of), the caller merely reported the truth. It was the police who overstepped by stopping me unlawfully.

    The way to fix those 911 calls is to get folks used to seeing guns again. More OC is the fix to 911 calls for OC.

    Now, if the caller lies, creating a situation where the cops lawfully stop me (or worse), I'd sue the caller. In small claims court, I'd assert that the caller slandered me, that I was damaged by the loss of my time and the emotional distress of whatever official action the officers took against me. I'd ask for punitive damages.

    It may be a loser, but at the very least, the defendant would likely draw a rebuke from the judge.

    I'd also swear out a complaint. It, too, might go nowhere. But, then again, it might.

    I have never done any of the above because no one has ever lied about me in a 911 call (to my knowledge). However, if someone ever does, I will try to take action, even if it will fail.

  8. #8
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solus View Post
    however, isn't that what the policeman is trying to do

    http://www.kxan.com/news/texas/injur...-made-911-call

    ipse
    No.

  9. #9
    Regular Member Red Dawg's Avatar
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    With proper training of the 911 operators, it would alleviate most of the goofy run ins with LEO. I say most, becasue, there will be embellishements, and with those, a cop may respond. With some training for the po-pos, they could observe that the caller embellished, and leave the OCer alone.
    Heck, if they need to "make contact" all they have to do is come up, say hi, and say that little old lady behind me is scared, so I came over to say hi to make her happy. Have a nice day...Oh, and nice Ruger.. LOL...
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  10. #10
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Filing an intentionally false or malicious police report (and that's what a 9-1-1 call is) is a crime and only the prosecutor can charge someone - mostly because the only other option would be the aggreived party (you) and magistrates hate to get in the middle of what they see as a personal matter between you and the caller.

    As has been mentioned, you not only need to show damages but to prove malicious intent in order to prevailini a civil suit. Sally Soccermom's being frightened out of her wits at the sight of someone who is not a cop carrying a holstered handgun and calling the cops because she fears you "may do something" is not malicious - merely ignorant. But if you found something on her Facebook account discussing the last time she was at Starbucks and had posted something to the effect that the next time she saw some yahoo wannabe cowboy she was going to call the cops to teach that thug a lesson, you might convince a jury there was malice behind her calling 9-1-1.

    Being arrested, proned out, cuffed & stuffed and having your name and picture on the tv news probably constitute damages even if you suffered nothing else. It's just being able to show that Sally Soccermom intended for you to suffer those damages (or sometimes that she should have reasonably expected you to suffer those damages as a result of her malicious act).

    stay safe.
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  11. #11
    Regular Member Freedom1Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Filing an intentionally false or malicious police report (and that's what a 9-1-1 call is) is a crime and only the prosecutor can charge someone - mostly because the only other option would be the aggreived party (you) and magistrates hate to get in the middle of what they see as a personal matter between you and the caller.

    As has been mentioned, you not only need to show damages but to prove malicious intent in order to prevailini a civil suit. Sally Soccermom's being frightened out of her wits at the sight of someone who is not a cop carrying a holstered handgun and calling the cops because she fears you "may do something" is not malicious - merely ignorant. But if you found something on her Facebook account discussing the last time she was at Starbucks and had posted something to the effect that the next time she saw some yahoo wannabe cowboy she was going to call the cops to teach that thug a lesson, you might convince a jury there was malice behind her calling 9-1-1.

    Being arrested, proned out, cuffed & stuffed and having your name and picture on the tv news probably constitute damages even if you suffered nothing else. It's just being able to show that Sally Soccermom intended for you to suffer those damages (or sometimes that she should have reasonably expected you to suffer those damages as a result of her malicious act).

    stay safe.
    Ignorance of the law/rights is no excuse.
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  12. #12
    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom1Man View Post
    Ignorance of the law/rights is no excuse.
    Oh god not the meme again.... Calling a phone line is not a crime, a caller needs no excuse unless they lie in a named report
    they love our milk and honey, but they preach about some other way of living, when they're running down my country man they're walkin' on the fightin side of me

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