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Thread: Why, besides financial reasons maybe, do no OC'ers sue for unlawful detainment?

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    Why, besides financial reasons maybe, do no OC'ers sue for unlawful detainment?

    I never understand when reading the multitude of stories on this site and others of OC'ers, and even CC'ers, being detained, stripped of the gun, serial numbers run, and all kind of other crap, why know one sues LEOs in federal court for 4th amendment violations. It just seems like it is part of the price you pay for OC'ing. It seems so clear cut to me in some cases where there was absolutely no right to detain by LEOs. Why aren't they sued. It seems like the only times they are are when something extravagant happens like arrest or confiscation of weapon. I am getting so fed up with reading these stories. I respect LEOs as much of the next guy, and I understand that not ALL operate in this matter, but it seems like too many do. I'm tired of it. We are on their side, we are the good guys, yet it seems like some really do get offended that someone else besides them carries a firearm. Like their the only ones qualified. What do you guys think? Am I over-reacting?

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    Four main reasons why OCers don't sue more often for unlawful detainment.

    1) bringing a lawsuit costs a LOT of money, and effectively prosecuting it costs even more--fees can run into the 10s of thousands of dollars. Not many OCers have that kind of dough to bring such suits--even if they are righteous, an pretty much guaranteed to win,

    2) few attorneys are willing to take such cases on contingency, and want fees up-front or as-they-go, and again, few OCers have that sort of disposable income,

    3) few Judges will hear such cases, even if they are righteous, and often just refuse to give them a hearing. and

    4) cops lie, so unless you have video of them breaking the law and outright abusing your civil rights. such cases are difficult to prove. And in some states (like MD), recording a cop during such a situation will get you charged with Felony Wiretapping...


    now, if YOU want to be a "test case" and have the time, money, and endurance to pursue such a case, knock yourself out.


    The REAL question I have for such cases is why ANYONE would "settle" for any dollar amount rather than go to trial. When you settle,, sure you get a payout, but there is no ruling, and therefore no legal precedent to guide future actions of LEAs. Not going to trial in such a case is short-changing your chances of REALLY changing the system. Although it punishes the LEAs (actually it punished the taxpayers, because THEY are the ones who ultimately pay the bill), it DOES NOT establish case law that would prohibit (or severely restrict) their ability to legally keep abusing people's rights...

    A "paycheck" is nice, but established case law benefits EVERYONE...

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    1) bringing a lawsuit costs a LOT of money, and effectively prosecuting it costs even more--fees can run into the 10s of thousands of dollars. Not many OCers have that kind of dough to bring such suits--even if they are righteous, an pretty much guaranteed to win,


    100% BS. This is only possibly true if you have a lawyer, which is not a requirement of suing. The fee to file in Federal is $350, which is only what a reasonably priced handgun costs today. Money or lack thereof is no excuse. Worst case, file in forma paupis and convince the court you are broke. You can file for free. If you don't want to sue, then just say you don't want to do it



    2) few attorneys are willing to take such cases on contingency, and want fees up-front or as-they-go, and again, few OCers have that sort of disposable income,


    Possible, but no less irrelevant. Lawyers are not a guarantee of a win, nor are they the most efficient method of suing. Money is not an excuse.


    3) few Judges will hear such cases, even if they are righteous, and often just refuse to give them a hearing. and

    Just silly and not true. Judges will hear the cases, especially if they are righteous. They WILL give them a trial if the case even gets that far. Most will settle before that point.

    4) cops lie, so unless you have video of them breaking the law and outright abusing your civil rights. such cases are difficult to prove. And in some states (like MD), recording a cop during such a situation will get you charged with Felony Wiretapping...


    A charge that won't stick. Recording a cop in a street encounter simply isn't illegal under MD law, period. Record the incident and hang them if/when they try to lie.

    The REAL question I have for such cases is why ANYONE would "settle" for any dollar amount rather than go to trial.
    Because trial is anything but a sure thing, and you may wind up on the wrong end of the case law argument, then you have appeals...and it can get really long and drawn out.

    I never understand when reading the multitude of stories on this site and others of OC'ers, and even CC'ers, being detained, stripped of the gun, serial numbers run, and all kind of other crap, why know one sues LEOs in federal court for 4th amendment violations.
    Because they are lazy and/or have misperceptions about lawsuits and how the law works in court. no, you aren't over reacting, but to most people, the process is intimidating.

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    Thumbs down Knowledge Fail

    Quote Originally Posted by codename_47 View Post
    A charge that won't stick. Recording a cop in a street encounter simply isn't illegal under MD law, period. Record the incident and hang them if/when they try to lie.
    Forgetting the representing yourself crazyness, IT IS ILLEGAL TO FILM A COP IN A STREET ENCOUNTER, IN MD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by codename_47 View Post
    1) bringing a lawsuit costs a LOT of money, and effectively prosecuting it costs even more--fees can run into the 10s of thousands of dollars. Not many OCers have that kind of dough to bring such suits--even if they are righteous, an pretty much guaranteed to win,


    100% BS. This is only possibly true if you have a lawyer, which is not a requirement of suing. The fee to file in Federal is $350, which is only what a reasonably priced handgun costs today. Money or lack thereof is no excuse. Worst case, file in forma paupis and convince the court you are broke. You can file for free. If you don't want to sue, then just say you don't want to do it



    2) few attorneys are willing to take such cases on contingency, and want fees up-front or as-they-go, and again, few OCers have that sort of disposable income,


    Possible, but no less irrelevant. Lawyers are not a guarantee of a win, nor are they the most efficient method of suing. Money is not an excuse.


    3) few Judges will hear such cases, even if they are righteous, and often just refuse to give them a hearing. and

    Just silly and not true. Judges will hear the cases, especially if they are righteous. They WILL give them a trial if the case even gets that far. Most will settle before that point.

    4) cops lie, so unless you have video of them breaking the law and outright abusing your civil rights. such cases are difficult to prove. And in some states (like MD), recording a cop during such a situation will get you charged with Felony Wiretapping...


    A charge that won't stick. Recording a cop in a street encounter simply isn't illegal under MD law, period. Record the incident and hang them if/when they try to lie.

    The REAL question I have for such cases is why ANYONE would "settle" for any dollar amount rather than go to trial.
    Because trial is anything but a sure thing, and you may wind up on the wrong end of the case law argument, then you have appeals...and it can get really long and drawn out.

    I never understand when reading the multitude of stories on this site and others of OC'ers, and even CC'ers, being detained, stripped of the gun, serial numbers run, and all kind of other crap, why know one sues LEOs in federal court for 4th amendment violations.
    Because they are lazy and/or have misperceptions about lawsuits and how the law works in court. no, you aren't over reacting, but to most people, the process is intimidating.
    The filing fee is only part of the cost. You have to pay for the service and subpoenas. If you lose you may have costs. Then there is the time, it takes a lot of it. The whole process is geared to exclude the pro se plaintiff it is confusing and intimidating.
    You'll get a better result with an attorney who knows the process. I read some stats somewhere that most pro se cases are dismissed.
    It is a myth that settlements don't work to change the attitude of cops.

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    I didn't sue because the Montgomery PD changed its policy and training without my having to sue. And, to me, that is the goal. Not making them pay or making me rich.

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    And why won't attorneys take these cases?

    The expansion of legal doctrines like qualified immunity and 11th Amendment immunity by right wingers on the bench.

    Its time that gun rights activists made common cause with the rest of the civil rights community on these issues.

    We need to fight back!

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    Contingency basis??

    [QUOTE=codename_47;1304130]1) bringing a lawsuit costs a LOT of money, and effectively prosecuting it costs even more--fees can run into the 10s of thousands of dollars. Not many OCers have that kind of dough to bring such suits--even if they are righteous, an pretty much guaranteed to win,


    100% BS. This is only possibly true if you have a lawyer, which is not a requirement of suing. The fee to file in Federal is $350, which is only what a reasonably priced handgun costs today. Money or lack thereof is no excuse. Worst case, file in forma paupis and convince the court you are broke. You can file for free. If you don't want to sue, then just say you don't want to do it



    2) few attorneys are willing to take such cases on contingency, and want fees up-front or as-they-go, and again, few OCers have that sort of disposable income,


    Possible, but no less irrelevant. Lawyers are not a guarantee of a win, nor are they the most efficient method of suing. Money is not an excuse.
    [I]


    my take:
    In my opinion a lawyer that would not take such a case on a contingency basis would be a lawyer that you wouldn't want anyway. I understand that a lawyer would want/need to be paid if you was the defendant, but if you are the plaintif that should not be the case.

    The lawyer would have to be working on a contingency basis so that he would actively persue a win in the court. If he is getting paid for losing, then a lot of the incentive to work hard for the win would be lost. If his time and money are on the line, he will be fighting harder.......................

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    Actually open carriers have sued the police many times and obtained damages in many states; if you have standing to sue, you should find an atty willing to take the suit on at least a partial contingency basis - if you are not willing to front at least some costs and fees, then you are not really comitted to defending the Second Amendment.
    ----
    Quote Originally Posted by mattmed View Post
    I never understand when reading the multitude of stories on this site and others of OC'ers, and even CC'ers, being detained, stripped of the gun, serial numbers run, and all kind of other crap, why know one sues LEOs in federal court for 4th amendment violations. It just seems like it is part of the price you pay for OC'ing. It seems so clear cut to me in some cases where there was absolutely no right to detain by LEOs. Why aren't they sued. It seems like the only times they are are when something extravagant happens like arrest or confiscation of weapon. I am getting so fed up with reading these stories. I respect LEOs as much of the next guy, and I understand that not ALL operate in this matter, but it seems like too many do. I'm tired of it. We are on their side, we are the good guys, yet it seems like some really do get offended that someone else besides them carries a firearm. Like their the only ones qualified. What do you guys think? Am I over-reacting?

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    I consulted a lawyer who specializes in false arrests. (Casinos are infamous for this.) He said my case is a slam dunk win, but I'm not likely to get awarded anything but a pittance in the judgement. Thus, he doesn't work on contingency and wants to be paid up front.

    Part of the problem is people who have been falsely arrested (illegally detained, seized without cause) aren't seen as victims by others. "Oh, you were just temporarily detained while those fine young men were just doing there job keeping us safe. What's the harm in a few minutes or hours out of your life?"

    Pro se sounds fine and dandy but small claims court limit here is $5,000 and does not allow punitive damages, so you have to file in big boy court. There the rules are made by lawyers, for lawyers, enforced by a lawyer who doesn't take kindly to a non-lawyer trying to play the game.

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    Forgetting the representing yourself crazyness,
    I've done it and won. It isn't crazyness.

    IT IS ILLEGAL TO FILM A COP IN A STREET ENCOUNTER, IN MD.
    Ok, smart guy, what law is it breaking in MD? Can you name one person who has actually been convicted of it?

    The filing fee is only part of the cost.


    True, you have postage and some travel time/costs. Possibly payment to a mediator. Add another grand on top, say 1350 over the better part of a year. That is what, 120/month or so? You can't swing that?

    You have to pay for the service and subpoenas.
    Really? I just dropped mine in the mail CMRRR. How much does it cost for a Federal subpoena?


    If you lose you may have costs.

    Costs like what?

    Then there is the time, it takes a lot of it.

    This is true, but most of it is spent waiting. Waiting on the court, waiting on the postman. Just waiting.

    The whole process is geared to exclude the pro se plaintiff it is confusing and intimidating.


    Again, not true. Judges are very fair to pro-se litigants and just because YOU may be confused or intimidated doesn't mean the process was designed that way.

    You'll get a better result with an attorney who knows the process. I read some stats somewhere that most pro se cases are dismissed.

    I read somewhere that the moon is made of cheese. Got some stats to back that up. I've been represented before, and it isn't worth the money.

    It is a myth that settlements don't work to change the attitude of cops.
    I think it depends on the cost of the settlement.


    I didn't sue because the Montgomery PD changed its policy and training without my having to sue. And, to me, that is the goal. Not making them pay or making me rich.

    Why can't we have both?

    Pro se sounds fine and dandy but small claims court limit here is $5,000 and does not allow punitive damages, so you have to file in big boy court. There the rules are made by lawyers, for lawyers, enforced by a lawyer who doesn't take kindly to a non-lawyer trying to play the game.
    ALL the rules are made by lawyers. I would NOT want to try a case in small claims where the judge is elected by the locals vs Federal where the judge is picked by the president.

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    Quote Originally Posted by codename_47 View Post
    Me: I didn't sue because the Montgomery PD changed its policy and training without my having to sue. And, to me, that is the goal. Not making them pay or making me rich.

    You: Why can't we have both?
    We can. I didn't say we can't. I was answering the question about why some don't sue. My question back to you would be why should you sue if the goal (changing the way LEOs treat OCers) is accomplished? Unless that is not your goal.

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    I didn't say we can't. I was answering the question about why some don't sue.
    I think because most people are scared by the process and lack the courage and possibly the ability to do the research and write clearly, which is what complaints and motions generally require. I think people have unrealistic expectations as to the complexity and difficulty of suing as this thread illustrates as well as a general lack of knowledge on the law (ie recording police in MD).


    My question back to you would be why should you sue if the goal (changing the way LEOs treat OCers) is accomplished? Unless that is not your goal.

    I think you SHOULD sue because that is your primary form of recourse for police misconduct. You could picket or make signs or go yell at city hall, but I think it is far more effective to hit the cops and their municipality where it hurts, in the wallet.

    Picketing, letter writing campaigns and so forth may get some lip service from the politicians, but the do not cause lasting pain to a municipality. A lawsuit will get their immediate attention and will change behavior. Why? Because win, lose, or draw, lawsuits are expensive and painful processes to endure.

    It is already starting to happen in Cali where they are putting out LEO warning flyers to cops that if they screw with an open carrier they may be recorded and may be on the receiving end of a lawsuit. If you sue them enough, they will get the message and they will stop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by codename_47 View Post
    IT IS ILLEGAL TO FILM A COP IN A STREET ENCOUNTER, IN MD.
    Ok, smart guy, what law is it breaking in MD? Can you name one person who has actually been convicted of it?
    http://gizmodo.com/5553765/are-cameras-the-new-guns

    ...On March 5, 24-year-old Anthony John Graber IIIís motorcycle was pulled over for speeding. He is currently facing criminal charges for a video he recorded on his helmet-mounted camera during the traffic stop...

    This is old news keep up. It is illegal in 3 states.

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    ...On March 5, 24-year-old Anthony John Graber IIIís motorcycle was pulled over for speeding. He is currently facing criminal charges for a video he recorded on his helmet-mounted camera during the traffic stop...

    This is old news keep up. It is illegal in 3 states.


    I don't see a conviction there. You do know there is a difference between a mere allegation and an actual conviction, right? I'm actually way ahead of you on this one.

    You do know that it is not illegal in MD to even record a conversation unless you KNOW that recording is illegal, right?

    And please before you stick your foot in your mouth even further and say Linda Tripp, at least GO READ the actual case. I have, and you might learn something.

    You do know that in PA where the law specifically states that recording oral conversations is prohibited, people have been arrested for wiretapping, which subsequently resulted in the charges being dropped and the cops being sued successfully, right?

    Of course the PA supreme court actually read the law, which you did not and the law requires an expectation of privacy, just the same as the MD law requires.

    You do know there is no expectation of privacy on a highway, right?

    Anthony Garber will walk and he has a great 42 USC 1983 case for retaliation and false arrest on his hands.

    http://law.justia.com/maryland/codes/gcj/10-401.html

    Do some reading

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    We aren't talking about PA. Every state's laws are different. Every state's interpretation of its own laws are different.
    All the evidence Tripp was involved in wiretapping was inadmissible because it was given to the courts under immunity.. How is that relevant to this?

    Yes there are exceptions when there is no expectations of privacy. Unfortunately that is up for LOTS of interpretation.

    Why your surprised 'all-party consent' laws lead to this is beyond me. When such an egregious law is written, the end result is always way way more evil than intended.

    Single party consent is one of the reasons I love VA.
    Last edited by simmonsjoe; 07-11-2010 at 01:01 AM.

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    Couldn't find a lawyer really interested in taking my case. I think there wasn't enough money involved.
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

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    We aren't talking about PA. Every state's laws are different.
    PA and MD have nearly identical laws on recording oral conversations.


    Every state's interpretation of its own laws are different.

    Show me one court case that has ruled differently.

    All the evidence Tripp was involved in wiretapping was inadmissible because it was given to the courts under immunity.. How is that relevant to this?
    If you actually read on the Linda Tripp case, she had a defense of ignorance (it is actually written into the MD statute) for all but a few calls, which was the reason that she was indicted.


    Yes there are exceptions when there is no expectations of privacy. Unfortunately that is up for LOTS of interpretation.

    It really isn't. The US supreme court ruled that there is no expectation of privacy in open fields or outdoors at all.


    Why your surprised 'all-party consent' laws lead to this is beyond me. When such an egregious law is written, the end result is always way way more evil than intended.

    MD simply isn't an all party consent state. Again, I don't care what your opinion is, show me a court case to support what you are saying. The law isn't poorly written, people are just ignorant of it and some (the police) try to misuse it.

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    Dreamer makes a great point on this. Let's add another angle to the mix.

    We all know that OC folks often get chastised for lawful carry as well as detained, disarmed, and have their serial numbers run. All of which we know to be violations of 4A (search and seizure) in our exercising of 2A. However, there's one thing that keeps creating speed bumps across the nation and that's 10A (State's Rights).

    The powers not delegated to the Fed are the right of the States. This is where we run into State to State regulations for firearms, some will even take it a step further and expand this down to municipalities. We've seen this in Missouri in St. Joseph, St. Louis, KC, and St. Charles.

    So as Dreamer posted, it becomes an expensive lesson in futility that none are willing to take up....yet. This my friends will be forced to become the next agenda for the NRA and pro-2A folks. We will be put in a position to have to address the phrase "shall not be infringed", with emphasis on the definition for "infringed".

    The time for folks to start addressing the 4A violations for OC'ers is now, when the tax revenues are down and the municipalities and the States don't have as much of a tax resource to fight such a legal battle, which can make them more willing to bend or simply give up (concede).

    Oh, and for what it's worth, DO NOT EVER let a LEO play the "you have to prove you own it to get it back" game. That's an immediate lawsuit that you need to file.
    Last edited by heresyourdipstickjimmy; 07-14-2010 at 10:47 AM.

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    Don't give up!!!!

    After almost a year I found an attorney to take my case and I am suing. It is not to get rich, but to teach them a lesson. Many laws were broken in my illegal detainments and I was threatened with continued harassment, even though Bellingham PD, knew and were informed open carry is legal and preempted by Washington State.

    The way I look at it is if people only ever get warnings about breaking laws and are always let off with because they said "sorry". Well if that was the case I would constantly drive over the posted speed limit if I only had to say sorry every time I was told I'm breaking the law. Making them pay (just like a speeding ticket) helps teach them a more solid lesson and would help to thwart future illegal activities on their part.

    Most speeding tickets and fines we get from our local governments are because we "caused damages" to the State, County, city. So I would say that vice versa when we have our civil liberties violated by so called "authorities" they need to be held accountable and pay damages. I am baffled by most who simply drop it and are happy they got an apology. This isn't how we are treated by them.

    And yes LEO do lie- I have the reports in my hand that prove it and have seen it an LEO encounters before. But from my observations so do most people. What needs to be corrected is the courts accepting LEO lies over citizens lies. That should be exact opposite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    And yes LEO do lie-
    I was with you until you started to bash the police.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwikrnu View Post
    I was with you until you started to bash the police.
    I have had a LEO blatantly lie on the stand repeatedly. He intentionally charged me with reckless driving (falsely) because I told him he was no longer getting free pizza from where I worked.

    fortunately for me he ended up contradicting himself on the stand and the case was thrown out.

    Either way, talking the truth is NOT BASHING.

    COPS LIE. Not all, but you have no way of knowing who is who when you meet one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwikrnu View Post
    I was with you until you started to bash the police.
    LOL coming from Kwiknru that is hilarious.

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    Here's another recent article on being arrested for videotaping police. Mentions the same Maryland case as well as others.

    "It's supposed to be the other way around: They work for us; we don't work for them."

    Maybe one day after millions of dollars in accumulated fines and settlements, the police will figure that out.

    http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=11179076

    TFred

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