Phoenix, AZ asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Criminal Law for New Mexico

Q: Iam out of town. Brother has arrest warrant. Police break down doors. I come home valuables missing.

Who would be responsible for doors and valuables. Our residence was left unsecured and unattended.

2 Lawyer Answers

A: It is possible that you have a claim against your brother for the missing valuables since police executing upon the arrest warrant was clearly foreseeable by your brother and he could have avoided police breaking down the doors by turning himself in.

James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: If the police executed a valid arrest warrant and followed proper procedure, the police department might not be liable for the damage to the doors.

However, if the officers acted negligently or outside the scope of their authority, the department could potentially be held responsible for the damages.

Regarding the missing valuables, if it can be proven that the valuables were taken as a direct result of the police leaving your residence unsecured, you may have a claim against the department.

It's also important to consider other potential culprits, such as opportunistic thieves. Document the damages and missing items immediately, and consider filing a report with the police department. Consulting directly with an attorney will provide clarity on potential remedies and the best steps to take based on the specific details of the incident. They can also advise on whether pursuing a claim is in your best interest.

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