Miami, FL asked in Civil Rights, Libel & Slander and Small Claims for Florida

Q: How long do I have to file a lawsuit or small claims against law enforcement after an arrest?

Recently I've been arrested and detained and the police have lied and muted out parts of the video and blotted out parts of the video during my arrest and did not show everything on the video and I'm trying to figure out how I can go about things because it has cost me a lot.

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

A: I will give you general educational info regarding time periods that often apply to this kind of situation; neither I nor any other attorney can give you any legal advice in this online forum regarding the deadlines or procedures that apply to your potential particular claims (because that would create an attorney-client relationship). For legal advice to rely on, schedule a legal consultation.

A police misconduct situation might give rise to claims under both State law and Federal law. For State law claims of false arrest against an entity such as a city or county, there is a deadline of 3 years from the date of arrest to present a presuit notice of claim to the entity giving it 6 months to evaluate the claim (under Fla. Statutes Sec. 768.28), then if the claim is not amicably resolved, there's a deadline of 4 years from the date of arrest to file suit. For State law claims of malicious prosecution against an officer, there's a deadline of 4 years from the date of being cleared of the charge(s). For State law claims of negligence (which generally do not arise in these situations), there is now a deadline of 2 years from the date of incident (recently reduced from 4 years), and defamation of character claims have a 2-year deadline as well. For Federal civil rights claims (which generally are based on the Fourth Amendment), 4-year deadlines generally apply in Florida.

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