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Being the victim of theft is an awful experience. On top of having something literally taken away, a victim can often be left feeling traumatized. Typically, when a person is robbed, or discovers something has been stolen from them, contacting the police is the first step.

If you know the perpetrator, depending on the specific facts of the situation, you may not want to involve police. However, failing to involve the police will put you at a serious disadvantage when it comes to recovering your stolen money or property. Although you can pursue a civil action against the thief for the return of your property, a criminal action can be resolved much quicker, and net the same result at no expense to you.

It's not easy for a private citizen to sue a federal employee for a civil rights violation. If there's no statute to allow the lawsuit, then historically you couldn't bring your case. That's where the so-called Bivens claim becomes important.

A Bivens claim is a special type of 'implied cause of action' that was created by the Supreme Court, in the Bivens case, to allow private individuals to sue federal employees for constitutional violations when no statute has authorized such. Bivens claims are also sometimes referred to as constitutional torts.

Normally, when a person suffers a violation of their constitutional or civil rights, particularly in the context of police, prison, immigration enforcement, officer misconduct, there are usually legal remedies. However, when these types of constitutional violation stem from the actions of a federal agent, appointee, officer, or employee, victims often find that many of the typical remedies will not be available.

Most government agencies are tasked with enforcing laws and statutes. These agencies and their enforcement missions can encompass everything from your local police enforcing municipal ordinances to federal agencies prosecuting violations of enacted statutes. Because these federal agencies have a nationwide reach, their enforcement actions, or lack thereof, can often garner more attention and scrutiny.

So what happens if they fail to do their job? Do regular folks have any legal recourse against a federal agency for not enforcing certain laws? Here's a look.

Suing government officials and employees is not always possible, and when it is, it's more difficult than most people expect. Whether you have a civil rights case against a law enforcement officer for excessive force, or a postal carrier rear ended you, to simply achieve a legal resolution, there are several barriers to overcome to get justice from the government, even for government employees.

One of the biggest hurdles to getting justice from the federal, state or local government, or an employee, or official, is the legal doctrine of sovereign immunity. This legal doctrine basically states that the government (the sovereign) is immune from liability (can't be held accountable in court). However, while immunity is an actual thing, under limited circumstances, the government cannot claim sovereign immunity to escape liability. This session of the United States Supreme Court is expected to provide more insights as to when immunity defenses will apply to police officers and federal agents that are being sued for civil rights violations.

A former San Diego high school student recently won a $1.25 million dollar jury verdict as a result of her lawsuit against her former school resulting from being forced to pee in a bucket in a supply closet. The lawsuit alleged that the embarrassing incident, which was caused by a faculty member, led to extreme bullying, eventually causing the student to suffer PTSD, attempt suicide, and incur other damages.

The large jury verdict came after the school rejected the initial settlement demand of only $25,000. Currently, the school is considering whether to appeal the verdict.

The stereotype is deeply embedded in our minds and media when it comes to jury trials: the jurors sit passively, perhaps nodding or even crying in response, as the attorneys, witnesses, and judges battle before them, then retire to a room to argue about a defendant's freedom or the fate of millions of dollars. They are instructed to decide the case based only on what they have seen and heard in the courtroom, but have little or no input on the evidence.

But that might be starting to change. More and more jury reform advocates -- judges among them -- have been pushing for more juror freedom when it comes to asking questions during trial. Could we be witnessing the end to the static, silent jury and see more juror involvement during the course of the trial?

Undocumented immigrants beware: sanctuary cities are not all they are reported to be, and a certain elected official wants to do away with them. For undocumented immigrants that live in sanctuary cities, the next presidential term will require staying aware of whether Donald Trump follows through on the threatened consequences for cities and counties that continue to provide sanctuary for undocumented immigrants. Many cities have vowed to protect their populations, but what does that even mean?

The reason many people have a problem with there being sanctuary cities across the country is the incorrect belief that the cities provide a safe haven for criminals. In reality, in a sanctuary city, an undocumented immigrant will be pursued for any criminal act(s) they commit, except for merely being undocumented. Sanctuary cities generally only promise or have a policy not to follow orders from the Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency regarding holding individuals without other criminal charges for deportation.

A New York City developer and landlord is being sued for allegedly tricking an elderly woman into signing an agreement to vacate her rent controlled apartment in the coveted Upper West Side neighborhood. The former resident's lawsuit claims that when she signed the agreement to vacate, she believed that all she was signing was a receipt to prove that she received documents about renovations that were planned for the building. Unfortunately, the documents stated that she would move out while renovations were being done.

Surprisingly, after she signed the documents, the landlord cut off heat to her unit, which ended up causing her medical problems. Additionally, while the documents she did sign stated the renovations would only last nine months, it has now been over a year, and it does not look likely that she will be able to move back home before the holidays. From the current reports, it is unclear whether the resident has been permanently or just temporarily ousted from her home.

Hosting a party has its ups and downs. While gathering your friends and family together to celebrate any occasion is bound to be fun, if you're hosting and serving alcohol, you may have to be the "fun police." Social hosts have to walk a fine line between encouraging guests to have fun and making sure everyone stays safe.

Although a party host isn't going to be able to prevent every sort of alcohol related problem, exercising caution may save a host from facing legal liability if something does go wrong. Below, you'll find some tips on how to minimize legal liability when serving alcohol to party guests.

It's a fundamental principle of our legal system -- if you're going to sue someone, you have to put them on notice that they're being sued. Defendants need to be given a chance to respond to accusations against them. But this requirement begs the question: What constitutes notice?

Do you need to hand a copy of the lawsuit to them in person? Can you mail it? Or can you just slide into someone's DMs and drop a summons off?