Although the majority of police officers perform their duties properly, the reality is that many people are victims of police misconduct such as excessive force, false arrest, racial profiling, and harassment. If your rights have been violated by the NYPD you may file suit against the NYPD and the City of New York.
The purpose of filing a lawsuit against the NYPD for misconduct is to recover money damages in order to compensate you for your injury. Filing a suit against the City and NYPD is different than reporting a complaint to the NYC civilian complaint review board (which serves to discipline the officers for misconduct). Filing a suit for excessive force and related misconduct can be confusing, therefore attorney who specializes in protecting your civil rights can help you file your suit and guide you through the process.
New York Wrongful Arrest
Wrongful arrest or false arrest is where someone is arrested or held in custody without probable cause. When dealing with your criminal case, keep in mind that if you accept a plea or an ACD you lose the right to bring a false arrest claim. A wrongful arrest claim can only be made if your criminal case results in an outright dismissal.
New York Excessive Force
If you have been unjustly injured or abused by the NYPD you should seriously consider a lawsuit. The NYPD is only permitted to use reasonable force. Excessive force is using more force than reasonable given the circumstances. Your right to be free from excessive force exists no matter the result of your criminal case. Thus, unlike a claim for false arrest you may make a claim for excessive force even where you accept a plea, ACD, or are found guilty.
When to File
In general, a notice of claim must be filed with the city within 90 days otherwise it is barred by the statute of limitations. There are however exceptions which allow the time for filing to be extended.
Filing a suit against the City of New York and the NYPD is significantly different than most lawsuits. First your attorney will file a notice of claim within the time limit as mentioned above. Next your police brutality attorney will be notified of a hearing date. Your attorney will accompany you to this hearing. Generally, after the hearing a settlement offer will be extended. Overall the entire process takes a couple of months.
You attorney can provide you advice and guidance on testifying at your hearing. In particular, a police brutality attorney can help you determine whether it is beneficial to testify if your criminal case is still open.