Hot answers tagged

87

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 ...


69

In general, employers in the United States are free to fire you for your speech. The First Amendment does not apply to anyone except the government (other than a narrow set of circumstances where private parties act on behalf of the government or take on government roles, like when private universities employ campus police). If the officer was being fired ...


67

You are allowed to ask the police whatever questions you like. There is an upper limit that you can't refuse to obey a lawful order on the premise that you want to ask a bunch of questions, but they don't seem to have ordered you to do anything, so you can ask away. They have no obligation to tell you anything or to be truthful, except for certain questions ...


66

You don't know. You can't know. And you can't force the officer to tell you. Detention Status As a practical matter, you have no way of knowing if you are compelled to follow an officer's order because you are being detained unless the officer volunteers that information (your detention status) which they are not compelled to disclose and have every ...


59

Bobstro gave the practical answer, that it's a stupid idea for many reason. This is for the US in general, states may have laws that say otherwise. It is not illegal to provoke someone or a government official (police), it's done all the time in protest (not riots). It is not illegal to run from a cop who has not detained you in any way, or has not ...


58

The case you identify is not unique. For example, the Unitarian church in Denver has done much the same thing. There is not a legal right to sanctuary in a church. But, as a manner of law enforcement discretion and public relations and customary traditions of law enforcement respect for churches that long predate the formation of the USA, law enforcement ...


53

Trespass to land in most instances is a civil matter, and as such the police do not have the power to assist. Initially, the landowner should ask the trespasser to leave the land and if he/she does then all is well. If he/she refuses to leave the land then you will need to consider taking civil action. It could be dangerous for the landowner to try to remove ...


50

A follow-up story appears on the local ABC television station, indicating that the security guard pleaded no contest to simple assault. The fact that the security guard was convicted of a misdemeanor does not necessarily indicate that the deputy was allowed to have the gun in the IRS office, only that the security guard's response to the situation was not ...


47

There is a state law that requires you to obey the police: ORC 2917.13, which says you may not Fail to obey the lawful order of any law enforcement officer engaged in the law enforcement officer's duties at the scene of or in connection with a fire, accident, disaster, riot, or emergency of any kind. If you do, misconduct at an emergency is a ...


44

Yes, police are allowed to touch your car or wipe snow off the windshield to view a parking permit. Indeed, if they just ticketed people because their permit could not be seen through the snow, there would be a huge public outrage. They are not allowed to search your car without permission or probable cause in an emergency, but wiping snow or touching the ...


40

I think the officer is probably lying, not just mistaken, but they are not required to always be truthful. In addition to the law against possessing ID with intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any crime, it is also against the law to be knowingly in possession of a stolen credit card, or any other property. An example of a strict-liability possession crime, ...


37

In long ago English practice, the phrase used was "Stop in the name of the King". At one time this was, if I am not mistaken, required for a valid arrest. I am talking about a time hundreds of years ago, by the way. That phrase, in turn, goes back to a still older concept. At one time, in Germanic customary law, each important leader had a "...


36

First, you have to know your own rights. There are detailed laws that describe what police can do and how they are supposed to do it. Unfortunately, none of their duties include "informing citizens of their legal rights," with the sole exception of informing a detainee of his right to a lawyer, and then only if the officer cares about the admissibility of ...


35

You can file a federal criminal complaint under 18 USC 242 - Deprivation of rights under color of law, or (most commonly) a civil claim under 42 USC 1983 for the violation of your civil rights. There are usually state laws, from some form of harassment (usually a summary offense) to misdemeanors like the Official Oppression we have in Pennsylvania. Note ...


35

You should file a complaint with the police. If you complain to the police then they might do something. If you don't complain then they certainly won't. Are food trucks licensed? You might try complaining to the license authority. However go to the police first because the licence authority are unlikely to do anything without a police complaint. Even ...


35

Let's be quite brutal here. Inexperienced driver doesn't mean the driver made a mistake. Lots of friends in the car doesn't mean they interferred with his driving. Loud music in the car is totally legal. "Perhaps was distracted" - "perhaps" you were distracted by looking at the passengers of this car instead of yielding? It seems that you ...


33

First off, you cannot booby trap your property, period. It is both illegal and tortious. But, as you noted, there are already questions/answers that deal with this issue. Sure enough, if the police get a no-knock search warrant, that in and of itself is the Court order allowing entry by any means necessary. When the officers, there by right of law, breach ...


31

Looking at Washington's Identity Theft statute RCW 9.35.020 No person may knowingly obtain, possess, use, or transfer a means of identification or financial information of another person, living or dead, with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any crime. So, just possessing someone else's credit card is not a crime as long as one does not have the ...


30

It depends on the type of warrant. Failure to pay a fine is not necessarily an arrestable offence. The Police Scotland Warrants Standard Operating Procedure (710 kB PDF) states: 5.3 Whilst there is no legislative requirement for Officers to physically possess the warrant to force entry / effect arrest, it would be considered best practice if a forced ...


28

Good Samaritan laws are not applicable to the facts Good Samaritan laws give a person civil immunity if they render aid in good faith and that aid turns out to do harm. For example, in a person incorrectly performs CPR in a genuine effort to save a life, Good Samaritan laws prevent them for being sued if the cause damage or fail to save the life. The legal ...


26

Mere ideas are not, as others have said, protected by copyright. However, the police officer in such a situation may have a duty of confidentiality, particularly if s/he is informed that the contents of the phone are confidential. For example the "Officer's Code of Conduct" of Canton Ohio, says: Whatever a Police Officer sees, hears or learns of ...


25

Does said police department have any obligation to ID, investigate and detain / arrest the false caller? No. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 US 748 (2005). Usually, police do investigate, but that is a matter of department policy and political expectations, not a legal obligation to do so.


24

This is not a simple question. There are hundreds of page treatises on consent - explicit, implied, obtained by trickery, revoked, coerced by show, coerced by intimidation. If it ever was just a he said (s)he said situation, that certainly does not mean that the testimony of those two individuals are all that's considered to determine (1) that the ...


21

In the United States, the general way to challenge violations of your constitutional rights is a civil action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This broad statute allows anyone injured by such a violation to obtain damages and an injunction against future conduct. Police officers are entitled to qualified immunity from suit; a plaintiff must show that the officers' ...


21

No. The police have no affirmative legally enforceable duty in the U.S., to the general public, or any particular person who invokes their assistance, to take action to enforce the law. The leading case on point is Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) (full text here). In this case, despite the urgent requests of the beneficiary of a Colorado ...


21

The policeman ordered, right as he took a step out of his car "Turn it off!" - which is a lawful demand to prevent the biker from possibly kicking the gas and running. As the driver did not seem to comply (from the policeman's PoV) during his walk over to the bike, he enforced the order himself by turning off the bike and confiscating the key for ...


21

I have no idea about current legal requirements in English-speaking countries but just for illustration, the equivalent phrase is legally required by current Czech law (Act No. 273/2008 Coll., on the Police of the Czech Republic): (5) Pokud to okolnosti dovolují, je policista před provedením úkonu, při němž dochází k přímému vynucování splnění právní ...


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 ...


20

Is mere accusation without evidence other than testimony of the accuser, grounds for arrest in the UK? It depends on the circumstances, especially when dealing with non-recent allegations where independent and corroborative evidence may be difficult to recover, but in my experience it is very rarely an option to arrest soley on the say-so of one complainant. ...


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