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Thread: Small Claims Lawsuits - Death By a Thousand Cuts??

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    Small Claims Lawsuits - Death By a Thousand Cuts??

    RichB and others have been unlawfully detained several times.

    There is little chance of ever actually making case law in criminal court because the cases are always dismissed. What if, however, every stop resulted in a suit?

    A small claims suit cost $35 to file and could cost the municipality $5000.

    Thoughts? Comments??

    Don

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    Regular Member KIX's Avatar
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    There is that and this whole Grand Jury part that until this week I never thought of.

    I originally needed to get my permit for work (I designed military/law enforcement communications equipment). My boss was far too understanding with the process. Would have been nice if I lost my job because of Middletown not properly following the statutes.

    Then I would have had rather strong case, with loss of income and everything!

    Would be interesting to see how this goes (especially if I ever got nailed, I'd put the win in a legal fund or some other 2A rights group).

    Jonathan
    www.ctpistolpermitissues.com - tracking all the local issuing authority, DPS and other insanity with permit issues
    www.ctgunsafety.com - my blog and growing list of links useful to gun owners (especially in Connecticut).

    Rich B: My favorite argument against OC being legal in CT is "I have never seen someone OC in CT".
    I have never seen a person drink tea from a coke bottle while standing on their head, that doesn't mean it is illegal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcmdon View Post
    There is little chance of ever actually making case law in criminal court because the cases are always dismissed. What if, however, every stop resulted in a suit?
    The two options are not criminal court and small claims court.

    Regardless, the criminal court is certainly not off the table, it is just being delayed while other legal strategy is being considered.

    Death by a thousand cuts? Yes.
    Small claims court? No.

    What would I claim?
    Last edited by Rich B; 11-11-2010 at 08:15 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich B View Post
    The two options are not criminal court and small claims court.

    Regardless, the criminal court is certainly not off the table, it is just being delayed while other legal strategy is being considered.

    Death by a thousand cuts? Yes.
    Small claims court? No.

    What would I claim?
    Criminal court is off the table unless a prosecutor decides to take one of these instances in CT all the way to trial.

    I say a thousand cuts because a small claims judgement is limited to a max of $5000. So it won't bankrupt a municipality, but if enough of them happen, somebody will take notice.

    Your question"what would I claim" is exactly the crux of the question. Can you sue for a loss of freedom in small claims court? I'm not sure.

    Can you sue for purely punitive damages in small claims? I'm not sure.
    What I do know is that it will only cost $35 to find out.

    It could be a great source of seed money for larger suits.

    If there is anyone in CT who has been detained and was NOT planning to pursue any civil litigation, a small claims suit might be worth a shot. The worst that can happen is you lose $35 and a couple of hours time.

    Don

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcmdon View Post
    Criminal court is off the table unless a prosecutor decides to take one of these instances in CT all the way to trial.
    That is not true at all. Several options that do not include the state's attorney are currently being discussed.

    Your question"what would I claim" is exactly the crux of the question. Can you sue for a loss of freedom in small claims court? I'm not sure.
    Of course not. That is not what small claims court is for.

    What I do know is that it will only cost $35 to find out.
    Citation needed. The current rate on the state's website is $75.

    11. How much does it cost to start a small claims case?

    There is a $75.00 filing fee.
    The worst that can happen is you lose $35 and a couple of hours time.
    Unless they make a counterclaim or take you to real court for their time and legal expenses.

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    all good points. Ok, that idea is dead. Can't blame a guy for trying.

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcmdon View Post
    Can't blame a guy for trying.
    Nope. I never fault someone for throwing solutions out, only when they only throw problems out.

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    Its way beyond my grasp of the legal system but why couldn't you sue for blatant violation of your civil rights?
    Since its obviously legal & they are targeting OCers for nothing other than open carry I dont see much difference at this point between that & aresting someone for being black in a white neighborhood simply because the black person presence made someone nervous. Small claims is usually to recover moneys for damages isn't it?

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leverdude View Post
    Its way beyond my grasp of the legal system but why couldn't you sue for blatant violation of your civil rights?
    That is not the question. The question was whether you can do so in small claims court or not.

    Since its obviously legal & they are targeting OCers for nothing other than open carry I dont see much difference at this point between that & aresting someone for being black in a white neighborhood simply because the black person presence made someone nervous. Small claims is usually to recover moneys for damages isn't it?
    Small claims is simply not the right avenue IMO for this kind of case. A real lawsuit is much more appropriate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leverdude View Post
    Its way beyond my grasp of the legal system but why couldn't you sue for blatant violation of your civil rights?
    Since its obviously legal & they are targeting OCers for nothing other than open carry I dont see much difference at this point between that & aresting someone for being black in a white neighborhood simply because the black person presence made someone nervous. Small claims is usually to recover moneys for damages isn't it?
    What you want to establish is that the presence of a weapon, in and of itself, is not RAS for a stop and detention. In principle it is a civil rights violation but not in practice or legal fact...at least not yet in this state, there is no solid and uncontested precedent to rely on and therefore every suit would be a gamble...a $20,000 gamble at best. The opposing precedent is substantial enough to make an optimistic attorney cautious at least and the state of the courts is also questionably favorable. Even if you win you would be subject to appeal...most people don't have the resources or motivation to do it right, and rightfully. Either way, this is not appropriate for small claims. The up side is that it can be easily formulated as a federal question, and therefore appropriate for federal court...but then again, a local jury would likely be more favorable...this is a complex strategic issue thats not really pertinent here though...

    I may be wrong here, but I don't know that anyone has been arrested just for OC'ing. . . and the breach of the peace issue has been handled, the issue now is the constitutionality of an investigative detention.
    Last edited by emsjeep; 11-13-2010 at 06:28 PM.

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    RichB was arrested for OCing, as was James Goldberg for (unintentionally) allowing his gun to print/flash.

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcmdon View Post
    RichB was arrested for OCing, as was James Goldberg for (unintentionally) allowing his gun to print/flash.
    Please don't let silly facts and history get in the way of a good rant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcmdon View Post
    RichB was arrested for OCing, as was James Goldberg for (unintentionally) allowing his gun to print/flash.
    Well, OK, but now that breach of peace has been sufficiently addressed (sort of) (as I stated) Goldberg is not at issue. The other was a DC arrest...right...which was dismissed...

    The point was merely that it works towards a precedent but what you need/want (if you could wish for the best possible circumstance) is a case that is fully adjudicated that gives you a decision stating that "Open Carry is not RAS."
    Last edited by emsjeep; 11-16-2010 at 02:02 PM.

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    I rest my case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich B View Post
    I rest my case.
    If there was a perfect case, I would want one where the facts were limited to a MWAG call with no overreacting bystander because what you want is a case that can legitimately and specifically find that open display is not RAS. This comment has nothing to do with anything real or factual, I'm just making a hypothetical wish for the perfect case.

    But excuse me for posting on your forum...
    Last edited by emsjeep; 11-16-2010 at 02:13 PM.

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