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  • Protecting yourself against Civil suit?

    I have a loose question for those of you in LE. How do you go about protecting yourself from a civil suit brought against you by a civillian?

    In cases where the officer himself/herself is being sued...not the agency.....do you have insurance that protects you?

  • #2
    Originally posted by TOPPED_OUT
    I have a loose question for those of you in LE. How do you go about protecting yourself from a civil suit brought against you by a civillian?

    In cases where the officer himself/herself is being sued...not the agency.....do you have insurance that protects you?

    I doubt you are going to receive much in the way of responses on this subject. Too much at stake here. How do we know we are not assisting you in a lawsuit against another officer? Just a thought.
    John 3:16

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    • #3
      Originally posted by redbird07
      I doubt you are going to receive much in the way of responses on this subject. Too much at stake here. How do we know we are not assisting you in a lawsuit against another officer? Just a thought.

      True...true....Don't know why I didn't think of that. I'm a reserve officer so I imagine I could ask the officers I work with. Thanks for the reply!

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      • #4
        If the act for which I am being sued happened within the scope of duty, the county is required to indemnify me. The only way they will determine that something was outside the scope of duty is for something incredibly outrageous. I've never heard of that happening here.
        Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

        I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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        • #5
          pay your dues to the POA or DSA first day on the job.

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          • #6
            I know that in IL there is the "FOP", but what is there in WI?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by TOPPED_OUT
              I have a loose question for those of you in LE. How do you go about protecting yourself from a civil suit brought against you by a civillian?
              I do my job honestly and professionally, and don't "cut corners." Won't stop someone from trying to sue me, but it makes their chance of doing it successfully almost zero.
              In cases where the officer himself/herself is being sued...not the agency.....do you have insurance that protects you?
              Yep. I have a $1M professional liability policy, and I am a member of the Federal Law Enforcment Officers Association (FLEOA), who will provide legal counsel. More importantly in most cases the Department of Justice will defend me against a lawsuit, so the insurance and the FLEOA lawyers are just a backup.

              Again, based on doing my job honestly and professionally I'm not worried about losing a lawsuit, however defending against frivolous suits requires lawyers and money.
              Last edited by SA13; 04-11-2007, 01:51 AM.

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              • #8
                The larger the LE agency, the larger the city/county government, the chances are they are going to have first-class legal defense teams working for them. Most "big city" departments know that if they do not defend their cops when people sue, the more likely that their other cops will stop enforcing laws and go into "de-policing" mode, arriving hours...days...after a crime has occurred.

                The smaller the LE agency or employing gov't body, the more likely that an individual officer/employee had better sign up for additional lialbility "malpractice" insurance.
                "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

                Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

                Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

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                • #9
                  There's liability insurance out there that people in such occupations as law enforcement, politics, and other various jobs can elect to carry. I assume you can write it off too.

                  If you act morally, ethically, and with in department policy you shouldn't have to worry about civil lawsuits. If someone does sue you, your defense can look at how you acted with in your policy and the scope of your duties.
                  -Stay safe

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SA13
                    I do my job honestly and professionally, and don't "cut corners." Won't stop someone from trying to sue me, but it makes their chance of doing it successfully almost zero.Yep. I have a $1M professional liability policy, and I am a member of the Federal Law Enforcment Officers Association (FLEOA), who will provide legal counsel. More importantly in most cases the Department of Justice will defend me against a lawsuit, so the insurance and the FLEOA lawyers are just a backup.

                    Again, based on doing my job honestly and professionally I'm not worried about losing a lawsuit, however defending against frivolous suits requires lawyers and money.

                    Exact answer I was looking for....I was wondering if there was professional liability insurance out there. The way I've heard certain officers talk is that there wasn't any, but I knew it didn't sound right.

                    Interesting that it may be a write-off also.....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I just finished a civil action against a police officer here in Ontario and my client was granted a $250,000.00 award (for injury to his face). While I personally hesitate to go after an officer in his personal capacity, there are instances where this is unavoidable. However, it has been my experience that, if you do your job honestly, professionally and, above all, in a manner consistent with the law, judges will probably support you and juries, in particular, tend to side with an officer who is simply doing his/her job. In this instance, it was a jury trial but the officer lied so blatantly that the jury found it impossible to support him. It's one thing to lie but it's just not acceptable that you get caught in it. In most cases, the Plaintiff has to prove malice or bad faith on the part of the police before he/she will be successful in a civil suit. Do your job guys and don't allow yourselves to become obsessed with possible civil action. Your employer is vicariously liable for any mistakes you make but, in Canada at least, a mistake is not sufficient to be successful in a civil suit. No one wants a police officer second guessing him/herself and perhaps not doing what has to be done for fear of being sued.

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                      • #12
                        To avoid being singled out in the suit and keep your employer in it, follow policy. As long as you follow policy you will not be set apart.
                        A Veteran is someone who at one point in their life wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America, for an amount up to, and including their life. That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country today, who no longer understand that fact!

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                        • #13
                          Agree, if you are in LE, keep your employer in it, however, it threw me for a loop when I was the only one sued personally (in a LE capacity) however they did go after the Dept. Legal took care of it for me.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ray8285
                            To avoid being singled out in the suit and keep your employer in it, follow policy. As long as you follow policy you will not be set apart.
                            What motivated me to start this thread...for those who may be wondering....was the case of the officer who is being sued (in Texas, I believe) because of those shell fragments that hit the person hiding on the floor of that suv.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TOPPED_OUT
                              What motivated me to start this thread...for those who may be wondering....was the case of the officer who is being sued (in Texas, I believe) because of those shell fragments that hit the person hiding on the floor of that suv.
                              People will try to sue for anything and everything. Police just have a bigger bullseye on their backs. Unfortunate.

                              Comment

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