86

Even if you had grounds for a lawsuit, you could not make it come out of the officer’s pocket. Under Chapter 4.64 of the Seattle Code, the City of Seattle is generally required to defend and indemnify city employees who are sued for doing their job. If you sue a police officer, the city pays his lawyer; if you win or if the city decides your claim is ...


20

I'll go ahead and add in a federal level legal principle on top of all of the local and state laws that stand in your way: qualified immunity. In short, you'd have to prove that the officer was plainly incompetent. Police officers who have accidentally shot people they were intending to tase have been granted immunity under the various statutes being ...


19

No, abuse of power is not necessarily criminal Imagine a judge that is “heightist” - they always rule in favor of defendants who are taller than 175cm and always rule against those who are shorter irrespective of the merits of the case. This is clearly an abuse of power. It’s not illegal because “height” is not a category protected from discrimination (...


16

You could sue the officer. You could even make it a federal suit under Section 1983 (see the text of the law). However, to prevail, you would have to show that the officer knew that you were doing nothing illegal, or that any reasonable officer would have known this. If a reasonable, even an ordinarily careless, officer might well have believed that you were ...


15

The point is that an act need not be a crime for which the actor could be convicted in criminal court for it to qualify as an impeachable "high crime or misdemeanor." So, abuse of power isn't necessarily criminal of itself, but even a specific abuse of power that is not criminal may be impeachable, Alan Dershowitz's arguments to the contrary notwithstanding....


9

No, abuse of power is not necessarily criminal because abuse of power is a moral construct and something being criminal is a legalistic one. And that the law and morals are only loosely related to each other has been shown time and time again. However, a lot of specific types of "abuse of power" have been made illegal due to the fact that ideally law is ...


4

No A lawyer is considered an "officer of the court" in the sense that certain duties to the court are imposed on the lawyer. That does not give the lawyer authority as if the lawyer was part of the court staff, nor a law enforcement officer. A statement can be prosecuted as perjury only if it is made under oath (or affirmation) in court, or if it is made "...


3

Most of the answers are being too specific, vicarious liability would apply to the officer just as it does with any other employer. The employer is responsible for the employees incompetence, not the employee. As for your philosophical objections to the officer not paying, that is in fact why vicarious liability is so common and applies in this case. ...


3

The biggest issue with your situation is that the police didn't get your $350. The towing company did. So even if you can get the police to admit they made a mistake, they don't have your money, and can't give it back. They will tell you to take it up with the towing company. The towing company isn't going to give you your money back, because towing ...


2

High Crimes and Misdemeanors (the bigger category from which Abuse of Power was derived) was historically meant as a catch-all for any actions that could cause a peasant to believe that the monarchy was not morally/intellectually superior to the peasantry, and thus question the concept of Divine Right in early times, and the justification of the State and ...


2

There are laws in place in some states and cities that prevent a towing company from holding your vehicle hostage if you don't pay the tow fee. I know this doesn't help you right now, but I post as an answer to bring awareness to anyone else who may find themselves in a similar situation. In your case (assuming Seattle or Washington state has a similar law) ...


1

It is not illegal to lie to an individual, and it is illegal to lie in a 'matter'. The statutes are framed in terms of a circumstance such as being under oath of in an investigation. Fraud of course has separate rules.


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible