08/28/13, 8:08 pm
My husband was beat in the face with handcuffs by the captain of a police dpt while going pay a ticket. (Not state troopers it's a town & captain issued the ticket) To make a long story short its hopefully a set deal. The cop approached my husband after asking the price of a ticket when he was getting in his truck & arrested him. When I husband asked what he did the cop started to punch him. After realizing the mistake the cop came up with he was disturbing the peace when asking about the ticket & resisting arrest because he was trying to run after being hit. The reason for the cops actions was out of anger bc although we were paying the ticket he was mad because my husband wanted to go to court over it & tell the story bc he was not speeding & he spoke to the chief about this & it was said to be fine. We have to finish the charges before we can move forward with the suit. There have been several cases with the same officer & brutality & the town and chief have done nothing to remove him. So anyhow we are in the process of seeing if charges are going to be dismissed. Although it would be easy to ask how much we are looking to receive for a way I feel shamed to ask right out. We are told it all plays into his damages, medical, pain & suffering and so on & the departments insurance will make an offer on it. How much are they required to have? Are we looking at 10000 to cover medical or will it be more? I'm just wondering if anybody can say even an amount as far as the least it should be and how much are they covered there any minimum by law? (Louisiana) because of another 2 suits same thing different injuries does it mean there will be less? He doesn't have any damages other than a sprang arm & the cuts on face from cuffs & a black eye.(scar on chin) & the arrest in the paper and online and owing a business it really doesn't look good. We are filing suit against town, captain, chief, and department. Thanks in advance. I can add more if needed
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United States   |   Louisiana  |  Civil Rights Law
Cost: Free


Donald Hyatt Says:

Sep 11,2013 2:35 PM

The facts you have outlined present a large number of issues, and it is difficult to begin to do them justice in this format. With that in mind, I will address the high points as follows: 1. It is essential that the criminal charges be successfully resolved with a dismissal or acquittal. A conviction or guilty plea, even to a lesser charge will likely destroy any claim and/or the value of that claim. 2. I am unaware of a statutory minimum amount of insurance coverage for municipal police department in Louisiana, but that is not likely the real issue in this matter as the amount you are likely to receive would probably be covered by any reasonable insurance policy. 3. Louisiana, unlike most, if not all other states, has appellate review of facts on appeal, including the quantum of damages awarded for personal injuries. There are published collections of summaries of these cases, so it is relatively quick and easy to at least determine the general range of possible judgment value for a given set of injuries in Louisiana compared to many other jurisdictions. The injuries you have described do not strike me as being likely to result in a particularly high value as the physical injuries are not long lasting, not largely disfiguring (with the exception of the scar on the chin), and generally of the sort from which recovery is fairly quick. 4. While damages amounts for damage to reputation, particularly for false arrest and defamation have increased over recent years, in Louisiana the numbers are still not that high, especially if the allegations do not involve a crime that is completely destructive of one's reputation. (i.e. awards for false accusations of sexual abuse, fraud, and a few other high profile type offenses) 5. The upshot is that the claim likely has a value beyond just the medicals, and not an insignificant value, but not a record setting value either. 6. Bear in mind that prevailing on civil rights claims against the police can be very difficult and take time to resolve. They have a surprising number of affirmative defenses available to them and will usually receive a vigorous defense. I am not telling you that your case is not worth pursuing, just that you should keep it in the proper perspective. 7. The claim will be harder to pursue if your husband has sued twice before on civil rights claims, even though the injuries were different. The defense will try, and may successfully paint him as a trouble maker who then seeks to profit from the situations he creates. If you do not have counsel already, I high recommend that you obtain counsel, preferably in the Washington Parish area to deal with the variety of issues present in the facts you have presented. The foregoing is intended as legal information concerning the question asked, but is not intended as legal advice upon which the requesting party may rely in guiding their actions. Rather, the requesting party should consult an attorney for a personal consultation and advice for a full consideration of their situation and rendition of legal advice. Additionally, by providing this general information I am not accepting any representation of the requesting party and I am specifically declining to form an attorney-client relationship with the requesting party unless agreed to later after further consultation and agreement.

Areas of practice listed are are areas of concentration in my practice. I am not board certified in any of the listed areas, and by listing them and describing my practice I am merely describing my experience and the nature of my practice.

Donald Hyatt
Donald L. Hyatt, II, APLC
633 Village Lane North, Suite 105,Mandeville, Louisiana (LA) 70471

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