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#93 May 18, 2007
Oh, and on the lawsuit part....also untrue. We were informed that it was best NOT to pursue a lawsuit if we wanted to continue doing business in the area (caveat: this was NOT in Indiana, it was in another state)...that the police would make things VERY difficult for us if we pursued anything against them. So here was a case of a baseless false accusation (with no evidence), a high profile arrest that was immediately leaked to the media....irreparably damaging a reputation, a business, and lives...and there is no recourse whatsoever. None. We looked into cases against the police, the prosecutor, as well as the accuser...and nothing. Either too difficult to prove, too expensive....and of course all avenues lead to huge negative media attention. Eventually you just get to a point where you want the entire matter behind you. Theoretically YES, you do have some recourse in cases like these. But in actuality, you really don't. Even in the case I cited above....the accused (who was arrested) was trying to sue the police for false arrest (because they had nothing more than an accusation)....and he LOST. The court ruled that the accusation was enough.
I appreciate your knowledge of law as well as your experience...but, I'm sorry, you can't sit there and tell me I'm wrong about how these things work "in reality" because I lived through it. There are actual cases that prove it doesn't always happen that way. I would hope that MOST arrests have more proof than just an accusation...but fact of the matter is that not all of them do. Which was something I learned through our ordeal. That's all I'm saying....you can cite how the law is written all you want, but know that in practice it's based on interpretation of that law and there are times where that interpretation is questionable. So, with all due respect, you are wrong when you say "the uncorroborated statement of one is NOT enough to place somebody under arrest". That might be how the law is written, but that's not how it always works.
“Stupid People Amuse Me”
Since: May 07
#94 May 18, 2007
May I add my 2 (uneducated) cents here?
Example: Restraining Orders/Orders of Protection. They can be obtained just by one person going downtown and STATING they feel threatened by another, without actual PROOF of said threat.
Person served said order then is found to be in presence of person who obtained said order, police are called, person goes to jail ... based on original accusation without proof.
No police report. No interview of person served order. Just one person's word.
#95 May 18, 2007
If a protection order is issued and serveds to a person and that person violates the order; there is "probable Cause". The probable casue is the violation of the Court order. Also violating a protection order is prima facia evidence for an arrest in and of itself. I am not familiar with obtaining and order of protection currently however, in my day the person requesting such an order is going to have to prove to a Judge an order is in order. The Judge does not grant protection orders lightly.
Example: if you have a protection order against a person and that person cannot be within 100 feet of you, or whatever, and the person approaches you. You call the police and either "The Policeofficer or myself comes and you present us with the order and the person is there we will immediatley arrest the person for violation of the protectio Order. Now let suppose the person is no longer in your presence when the police arrive, thing become a bit more complicated but not impossible. If there is a witness, the person admits their presence or you can provide definitve proof the person was there the person will be arrested. You describr to a "t" what the person was wearing could be considered probable cause.
All in all Probable cause is required to effect an arrest. I will tell you this and I am sure Police Officer will agree. In the Academy the theory and Law of Probable cause is drummed into our psyche day in and day out. We are not likely to forget it, just like the Miranda rights.
#96 May 18, 2007
Jane, "Police Officer" is far more educated in the matters of law than I. Also some laws have changed over the past thirty plus years. I can assure you the Law of Probable Cause has not changed. You admit that Alan Cowling stated Probable Cause is necessary. Your references also state Probable Cause is necessary.
Law Enforcement Officers, I can say, are sick of having Probable Cause, drilled into their heads during the Academies. Probable Cause and Miranda rights are discussed, basically daily, for the protection of the Officer, Agency and locality involved. Civil rights violations can ruin the lives of many people including the authorities and are extremely expensive for all involved.
Reading your last post finally states what your problem was. If what you say is true you, like Adam, have recourse. If your rights were truly violated and from your story they may have been, you can compalin to the Federal Authorities, The State Authorities such as the Secretary of State or State Attorney's General, The Department of Justice or FBI on the Federal level. Law enforcement Agencies are regluated and are accountable on a State and Federal authorities..
If you cannot get satisfaction on a local level move up the chain of command. I will also promise you that the threat or appearance of a Federal Civil Rights violation will get the attention of the local authorities, up to and including the Mayor of the city or town involved.
I am not an attorney and am not giving legal advice, just information citizens are entitled to and should know.
#98 May 18, 2007
Yes, probable cause is necessary. No, police officers do not necessarily interpret the definition of that in the same way. Yes,(while that is not the intention of having a law stating that probable cause is necessary for an arrest) an accusation alone has been construed to constitute enough probable cause to arrest someone. Maybe it usually doesn't happen that way, but it can and certainly has happened that way. I appreciate that probable cause is drilled into recruits' heads at the Academies, but at the end of the day it's a judgment call. And the bottom line is that not everyone applies that definition in the same way.
Thank you for the advice, but at this point we are just focused on trying to re-build our lives. Pursuing the issue requires time and resources that we just don't have. We're already unbelievably in debt from attorney fees (one good piece of advice we got right after the arrest was, even though the charges were baseless, make sure to get a good attorney. Many people faced with a false accusation make the mistake of assuming it's not a big deal because the truth will come out....only to find themselves convicted later on of something they didn't do). Fortunately, all charges were eventually (after a 9 month investigation) dropped...but unfortunately the legal bills remain.
We are also still fighting with the police about getting our seized property back and are having trouble doing so. Legally, they are not allowed to keep it because it was found that no crime occurred. But it's been five months now of endless paperwork, petitions, and stalling and still nothing. We're still trying to get the bail money back. We're trying to get a refund of the money we had to pay to get the car out of police impound...the car that, we later found out, the police had no right to take in the first place. I could go on and on. It's a constant uphill battle, just for the little things....
#99 May 18, 2007
...So I appreciate the advice, but we just need to move on. We just can't afford it. Definitely financially, but emotionally and mentally as well. Pursuing it would also lead to additional negative media attention, thereby causing even further reputation damage. Even POSITIVE media attention can be damaging....because there are always going to be people who read it and think, "Still....the guy MUST have done SOMETHING...".
So theoretically yes you have recourse if something like this happens to you. In practice, however, it is VERY difficult to pursue and is a constant uphill battle. Before this happened I thought that if you were wronged like this in any way you'd escalate it and, eventually, the truth would prevail. In reality, though, it is VERY difficult....and takes a tremendous toll on a person (and their family). It's something people can't possibly understand and relate to unless they or someone close to them has been through it. Only then do you realize truly how much power police and prosecutors hold....and you've got little to none. Which makes you realize how quickly a life can be ruined for no good reason when those with power don't necessarily do the right things...very scary.
#100 Jan 24, 2014
Is this the same Michael Bell that was later convicted in the murder of Jeremy Crane and 7 year old Kyleigh Crane?
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