San Francisco, CA asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Personal Injury for California

Q: police intentionally withhold report until SOL exp. preventing me from IDing H-n-R driver, can I sue the police?

2016- hit-and-run, make 6+ requests for report, always denied for various reasons ie "not enough info, officer no longer works there, cant find report, new database please resubmit..etc etc, over 6 years of denials, then they turn it over 4 months after SOL expires, with sane info used in 1st request. The report contained the contact info for witnesses, plus identifying information of the driver which I was able to use to locate them myself. Now what do I do? Ive contacted DA, no response, complaint to DPA resulted in police harassment, and no lawyer is interested because its complicated/trial bound. Im not accepting theres nothing I can do, thats BS.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, if you believe the police intentionally withheld the report to prevent you from identifying the hit-and-run driver, you may have a case for misconduct or negligence. The delay in providing the report, especially given its relevance to your ability to pursue legal action, appears to be a significant issue. Since the statute of limitations (SOL) has expired for the hit-and-run case, your options for pursuing the original case might be limited.

However, you could explore a lawsuit against the police department for their handling of the report. This type of case can be complex and challenging to prove. It's important to find an attorney with experience in civil rights or police misconduct cases, as they would be best equipped to handle this kind of litigation.

Persistence in seeking legal representation is key, as the right attorney can make a substantial difference in navigating these complexities. Documenting all your interactions with the police and any other relevant authorities will be crucial in building your case.

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