Beaufort, SC asked in Civil Rights for Florida

Q: How do I sue the police department?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: There is no simple, on-line answer to your question. You need to schedule a consultation with an attorney handling civil rights matters. It indicates above your question that you writing from South Carolina, but it went into the inbox for Florida attorneys, so not sure where you incident was. Consult an attorney in the geographic area of the incident. I can only talk about Florida, where, in general, you cannot sue a "police department"; instead, you generally sue the municipality which employs the police, as well as sue individual officer(s). (Analogous to this is that if you slip on a banana peel in the shoe department of store, you don't sue the shoe dept., you sue the business.)

Also, certain potential claims for money damages are required to first be presented to the municipality WITHOUT a lawsuit, giving the municipality (in Fla.) six months to evaluate the claim and decide if they wish to attempt settlement. For those types of claims, if you sue without going through the pre-suit claim process, your suit will be instantly dismissed.

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